Waiting for the doctor is not the something people enjoy doing. Naturally, waiting is a bit boring task for most of us. But the degree of boredom and restlessness reaches its peak when they spend hours in front of the doctor’s cabin. What would you do if you were in the patient’s shoes? You would seek some solutions to reduce wait times.
Basically, you should understand that reduced patient wait times are key to ensuring patient satisfaction. Next, it also saves the patient’s valuable time and boosts their likelihood to visit again. In return, effective measures to reduce patient wait times save your time as well.
Use These Strategies to Reduce Patient Wait Times
- Be proactive and know about your patient in advance. Simply put it, gather patient info at the time of scheduling an appointment. That way, you will save a lot of time going through common patient info. For example, insurance coverage, personal or family history, and health records. This approach is particularly more beneficial in the referral cases. When you have everything ready, the patient will be happy to have not waited for a long time.
Benefits: You do not have to waste a lot of time finding information about the patient. Moreover, you will be glad to know that your patients are happy too.
- Use secure messaging. Secure messaging is an important channel to communicate with your patients. In the age of online communication, patients are more interested in talking to you through texts or emails. Telephone communication may be another option but more patients prefer texts or emails. For this reason, you should not pay any less attention to secure messaging. Not only does it increase patient satisfaction, it also increases your efficiency at work.
Benefits: Easy-to-use, safe and highly effective way to prepare yourself for the visit. Reduced phone calls and the need to call back.
- Practice e-visits to patients. Through a newer method of doctor-patient interaction, virtual doctor visits are an emerging tool that provides an equally effective outcome. In fact, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) also supports the use of e-visits to patients. Notably, these virtual visits are limited only to the established patients. That said, you cannot practice it if the patient is coming to you for the first time. Also, make sure to useHIPAA-compliant online connection to communicate with your patient.
Benefits: This futuristic healthcare model reduces the time and cost of travel. Thus, it is convenient for the patients. Also, it prevents late arrivals and makes the patient info gathering process more organized.
- Use a mobile queue app. These small mobile apps work wonders to cut down patient wait times. Consequently, the patients are happier and more satisfied with the services they get. You can find many apps that have many features like notification of the projected wait times and any delay. Moreover, the mobile queue apps also help the patients secure their position in the virtual waiting line. In essence, a constant communication between the provider and patient offers a greater flexibility to control the patient flow.
Benefits: Virtual waiting line allows the patients to take a break. In the same way, they can also report your staff about any delay in the projected wait times.
- Do something about the patients who arrive late or do not show up within the time range. Well, it could be anything from late fees to rescheduling or in the worst case, cancellation of the schedule. It may not seem like the best policies to offend your customers, the patients. Nonetheless, this extreme step might be necessary especially when you are repeatedly disturbed by their tardiness or might be an ignorance. Make sure to notify them in advance about your policies, or they may take it as an offense. Why not include the notice in all of your brochures, mails, and texts? To make your step more acceptable, consider making provisions to reward the patients who are always on time. Also, focus more on the value of time rather than the penalty or prizes.
What to Do When Nothing Works to Reduce Patient Wait Times
Yes, we are preparing you for the worst-case scenario. The solution at this stage is simpler than you think. When nothing works, work to make the patients more comfortable and keep them occupied. Here are some tips you may consider.
- Ensure patients get a comfortable and spacious reception area. Better if they get to read magazines, watch television or browse the internet over free Wi-Fi.
- Show that you care. Why not offer complimentary tea and coffee (whenever possible)? It will help to create a positive image of your practice.
The Bottom Line
Waiting for the doctor is not an easy task. That said, we cannot reduce patient wait times to zero. But, by using simple tricks and leveraging the benefits of new technology, we can bring the time down by a huge margin.
Remember that reduced patient wait times mean happy patients, more revenue, and better outcomes for all the concerned members of the patient-doctor interaction.
So, what are you waiting for?
Make the move now and see how happy patients can transform your practice into a profitable venture.
Want to Know More?
To learn more about the ways to reduce patient wait times, visit http://www.FindaTopDoc.com. Also, gain unlimited access to a myriad of other benefits. Readers can find evidence-based health information with just a click. Driven by the aim to provide authentic information about diseases, drugs, supplements, medical procedures, and lifestyle tips to all its visitors, FindaTopDoc.com and CEO Anthony Casimano allow visitors to read about the best doctors locally. Readers can choose the doctor that best meets their unique health needs, and request to schedule an appointment instantly.