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5 Tips on
Patient Wait Times
in Your Clinic

Photo of an empty clinic
Martha Dominguez de Gouveia

Patients easily get frustrated if they waiting for a long time to see their medical practitioner. Waiting too long in businesses may lead to an unhealthy work environment and bad experiences among patients.

Furthermore, patient wait times can impact on clinic because they have a powerful effect on overall patient satisfaction.

Meanwhile, about 5,000 patients and 97% say they are getting frustrated by having to wait in waiting rooms recently surveyed by the company Software Advice.

As well as, 8% of patients will be less frustrated if they know how long the wait would be.

Said pediatrician Justin Smith, M.D., director of primary care innovations at Cook Children’s in Fort Worth, Texas.

“As doctors, we just need to value everyone’s time,” and “Sometimes we can get in the habit of thinking our time is more important than anyone else’s, and that’s unfair and unreasonable.”

Reducing Wait Times

Fortunately, there are many efficient ways for reducing patient wait times. We need to have good strategies to solve this problem, here are the main 5 tips we found to reduce waiting time in clinics practices.

1. Collect patient information before their scheduled appointment.

Collect patient info it may seem convenient at the time of the visit. I believe preventing delays at check-in can reduce patient wait times.

Does your office staff gather insurance information and patient history when they schedule an appointment? Are patients asked to complete the necessary forms before arrival?

Prepping paperwork collection will help patients be ready for tomorrow’s appointment as soon as they arrive at the office.

Moreover, through your website or via an online patient portal, they can complete the paperwork, and time spent in a waiting room at the clinic will reduce.

2. Create and stick to a policy for no-shows and late arrivals.

The healthcare company can create a policy for dealing with patients who do not show up or arrive late for their appointments such as QueueMed,  and BookDoc.

This application will automated reminders to remind the patients of their appointment via messenger and email.

The clinic can  set a time limit for late arrivals if a patient late more than 30 minutes or no-shows and need to reschedule back. Hence, late fees will be charged for cancellation or no show-up on-time. 

These policies can emphasize that you’re doing this because you value their time as much as they do.

3. Use a mobile queue solution

Implementing a mobile queue tool are a great way to keep wait times down.

Thus, QueueMed Solutions gives the patient to arrange their wait times and at the same time, it can help you to manage patient flow.

With the current situation, this is especially important during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic due to the need to reduce the risk of transmission and observe social distancing measures.

QueueMed Solutions

Over 50,000 patients, the QueueMed Solutions have helped to improve their clinic visit experience and save their waiting times. Moreover, QueueMed provides more efficient ways to book the appointment via mobile device.

Furthermore, not only just QueueMed, there are more queue apps like a BookDoc which provides a mobile queue solution and able to search for doctors’ available time slots.

4. Divide front-desk duties

Segregate each staff to a specific job, such as phones or greetings. A smooth-running front-desk is important to successful daily operations in your clinic.

If the front-desk staff is stretched thin and not solid, some things may not be done or done properly may risk their job dissatisfaction, and can get a negative effect on how they interact with patients.

How can that problem be avoided? Besides, create an expert in charge of an area front-desk where the activities will run smoothly, there is a much better chance they will be happy and productive.

5. Using patient pre-registration

Have a clear understanding of your current registration process so that you can incorporate pre-registration into your training workflow.

As a result, with this approach, all registrations are incorporated directly into the registration software without the need for paper forms.

Pre-registration can simplify the process by collecting patient information. Besides, work as a team to determine the information you need to gather from patients during pre-registration.

Thus, you can use BookDoc App with mobile devices and internet access to book an appointment at any time from wherever you are, even when clinics are closed. The system is available 24 hours. The doctors’ portal allows you to conveniently and easily access patient information.

Hence, pre-registration can be done on the phone ahead of the appointment, or on the day of the appointment in person.

In the healthcare sector like clinics, waiting time can being a huge factor in determining patient satisfaction scores which result in repeat business and referrals.

While it is impossible to completely eliminate patient waiting times, its reduction remains possible.

Remember, a happy patient can boost their emotion to become a healthy person!

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author image

Raihan Ridzuan

Raihan Ridzuan ,  Bachelor of Science (Hons) Pharmacology, is  Customer Relationship Executive of Mayflax , one of the nation’s leading healthcare and marketing company.



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