Handling patient wait times is becoming a major issue for healthcare practitioners. With competition closing in on every sector, it is important to gain a steady flow of patients by enriching customer loyalty.
Long waiting times could be a major factor in influencing those potentially loyal patients to switch to another clinic. It’s not just the length of the waiting time that will upset patients, but also how they are treated while they wait.
There are plenty of measures your clinic can take in order to keep wait times short and less tedious for your patients, here are just a few:
● Assigning the patients to their regular physicians on each visit to your clinic will prevent the doctor from having to be briefed about their patient history.
● Engaging the patients waiting with educative activities like health videos, magazines to read and free Wi-Fi connection will help patients kill the time easily.
● Engaging trained employees to enquire about the patient’s problem during the waiting time and making them brief it to the physician, getting the paperwork filled and finishing the required tests and follow-ups during the waiting time will help save the time of the hospital and the patient.
● Some patients might take longer with the doctors. Patients should be clearly notified how long they can talk to the physician except for unavoidable circumstances. Patients in the waiting room should be notified about the updates and the nature of medical emergencies occurring and in what time period they will be called constantly.
● The reception staff, hospital management and the physicians need to work together as a team to improve time management and organization. Scheduling the appointment of the patients in an appropriate way in order to give enough time for management work will help. For example, allowing the doctor a 15 minutes time period as soon as they enter to log in their attendance, prepare their computer and other equipment and get ready to receive patients. Similarly giving them a short break of 5 to 6 minutes to enter the patient details after they leave will help.
Scheduling the patient wait time in accordance to these above mentioned points will help in bringing down the patient wait time considerably. This is an absolutely vital part of excellent patient care, one that is the responsibility of the entire team.