How to Reduce Patient Wait Times?

Increasing the quality of patient care is the greatest challenge and concern for physicians and the staff responsible for running their practices. In order to enhance patient experience, it is essential to provide all the various healthcare benefits along with reducing patient wait times to eliminate the drastically rising number of patients who chose to leave instead of wait.

Throughout the entire healthcare process, it is vital to reduce the patient wait times, this includes the time spent waiting to see their doctor, waiting in reception area, in the examination room and other processes.

Common Reasons for Increased Waiting Periods

There are various delays for increasing wait times, for instance, appointment software glitches, physician’s inability to accommodate patients within specified time frame, inefficiency on part of the patients and several other reasons.

In most cases, patients themselves tend to cause these delays by arriving much later than the scheduled time for their appointment, along with other delays caused by certain circumstances. For instance, the patient may require some additional treatment at once, or perhaps, the patient requires some unique documentation.

The occurrence of certain medical emergencies can also cause delays and increased wait times, and at times, doctor workflow issues and inefficient practice management is to be blamed. Sometimes, patients book short appointments and end up seeking treatment to cure a wide range of issues in the examination room.

Effective Scheduling & Organizational Solutions to Resolve Waiting Time Issues

  • Software for Appointment Reminders

It is highly advisable to obtain a leverage software that allows you to set multiple automated reminds that will give you a call, text message or an email to inform you of your appointment. It will help you keep track of your schedule on the go.

  • Late Arrivals Policy

Late arriving patients can deterred by enforcing a strict late arrivals policy, which must be communicated directly and straightforwardly. The patients must be given warning letters if they arrive more than 5 minutes later during their first two visits, with a stricter measure if they continue to arrive late.

  • Anticipate & Engage

It is best to anticipate the amount of time the physician is likely to spend on each patient, and for this purpose, the staff can obtain relevant information by asking patients to fill out questionnaires and paperwork regarding their symptoms, and whether they require any additional time for examination and consultation.

  • Reward Patients

It is important to reward patients who always show up on time to send across the message that arriving on time is a gesture that is appreciated and required. Also, patients who do end up waiting should be rewarded with services, like free WiFi, coffee and others.

  • Eliminate Bottlenecks in your Software

Invest in an efficient software and get rid of all time consuming systems and applications, instead, obtain innovative new software to overcome all the EMR challenges that your tech team is facing. PatientTrack and PatientWorks are highly innovative software that will help you set automated timers along with generating speedy reports.

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