Are Your Patients Sitting in the Waiting Room Too Long?

According to a recent survey by Software Advice, 97 percent of the respondents expressed dissatisfaction with medical office wait times. Actually, you probably didn’t need a survey to alert you to that fact. However have you done anything to address the issue of wait times in your office?

With a little planning, you can reduce wait times for your patients or at least make the experience less frustrating. Here are some effective ideas that are easy to implement.

  • Rotating patients into different locations makes the time pass more quickly. Have one of your staff bring them into an exam room as close to the scheduled appointment time as possible. This also reduces a logjam in the waiting room, creating the perception that everything is moving on a timely basis.
  • Uncertainty is a major cause of stress, especially for patients who are already preoccupied with thoughts about their health. Inform them about the estimated wait time at check-in and give them updates if there are delays. If possible, offer the option of seeing another physician in your office.
  • Magazines and televisions in the waiting room are traditional ways of keeping patients occupied. You can update this approach by offering complimentary Wi-Fi so people can stay connected via laptops, tablets or smartphones.

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