Waiting for someone or something is one of the hardest things to do. This sometimes becomes frustrating when you are not in such a mental or physical state. This means when you are ill, you have to wait at the doctor’s office for your turn. Patients waiting times in hospitals or clinics indicate the quality of services offered by these healthcare service providers. The longer the waiting time will be, the more it will negatively impact patient satisfaction.
Being a doctor or physician, if you want to improve the overall patient experience, you need to decrease patient waiting times. There are several ways to reduce queue waiting times.
11 Most Effective Ways to Reduce Patients Waiting Time
Gather Patient Information in Advance to Patients Waiting:
Collecting patient info during their visit to the hospitals or clinics may seem convenient. However, it’s time-consuming and can delay allied services since some patients telehealth software takes more time to fill out forms than others. Therefore, it is best to collect all the necessary information like patient history, insurance information, etc. And prep paperwork the day before the patient visits the place. It saves office staff time and reduces patients waiting times at the office for their appointment.
Integrate a Patient Portal for Faster Services Delivery
Patient portals are one of the best mediums to reduce queue waiting times for patients at any healthcare facility. Portals allow patients to complete their own paperwork, access updates, and provide important information—likewise insurance, past medical history, etc., from the comfort of their homes. The only thing needed is good internet connectivity so that patients can access these online portals anytime, anywhere. And get ready to meet the doctors without wasting their and office staff’s time at the healthcare facility.
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Use a mobile queue solution
With an aim to keep your patients happy and cut down on wait times, you can use mobile queue tools. There are various queuing apps available in the market. You can choose the best-suited one and leverage your patients with the ease of checking their position in the queue. And their estimated wait time. Patients can use this waiting time to perform other important tasks prone to be completed in this time duration. This empties the waiting room and creates an amazing concept of a virtual waiting room. Wherein patients leverage the liberty of using their time more effectively.
Streamline Clinical Workflow to Reduce Patients Waiting
You can streamline your clinical workflow using high and low-tech solutions. It will reduce patients waiting time and leverage several other benefits to your healthcare business. To streamline your clinical workflow, you can start with improving your medical team’s communication and step ahead with integrating third-party EHR apps and simply delegating your documentation work to other trained staff.
Slash Phone Time with Secure Messaging
Making a phone call is considered a great appointment reminder, but many patients prefer texts. Phone calls are highly prone to get ignored at a busy moment. At the same time, texts remain in the inbox to be accessed anytime further. Also, text reminders are less time-consuming than the time spent talking over the phone. Ultimately, text reminders cut down on patients’ wait times and allow doctors to answer the patient questions outside of clinical visits, which reduces exam room chatter to a great extent.
Communicate with Patients About Delays
One of the best approaches to reducing waiting room times is letting your patients know if you are significantly late. It will refrain them from reaching your office early and wasting time waiting there for needed consultation. Also, this simple step of yours will increase your respect among them as you care about others’ time. Therefore, always try to inform your patients about your delays if possible since It results in reducing patients waiting time in hospitals or clinics.
Enforce a Policy for Late Arrivals
Several times it has been observed that patients don’t show up or arrive late for their appointment. This not only hampers the practice’s workflow but also damages its finances. Even other patients get angry owing to an increase in their waiting time. Therefore, it is vital to set up and enforce a policy for patients that no-show up or arrive late to the hospitals or clinics. Also, there should be a provision of late fees for repetitive cancellations or no-shows so that such patients get a clear message and bear the consequences of wasting other patients’ time.
Using a Survey to Find Slow Spots will help to reduce Patients Waiting
Sometimes it becomes hard to find out glitches on its own, which causes wait times. Therefore, it’s best to ask about them from those who experience the most while staying in the process, the patients. Facilities like hospitals or clinics can do so by conducting a short survey in order to find out the reasons behind patient wait times by evaluating the average waiting time in the reception area, exam room, or in the doctor’s cabin on different days of the week.
Start Using Telemedicine Solutions to Manage Patient’s Waiting
Telemedicine solution is one of the most powerful tools healthcare facilities like hospitals or clinics can use to reduce or eliminate the concern of patients waiting time for their turn. Virtual treatment through telemedicine applications saves doctors time and cuts down patients’ time for the average office visit by 50%. The market is flooded with telemedicine software, but you need to choose the best telemedicine software like VCDoctor that is AI-based, HIPAA compliant, and truly customizable to your specific clinical needs.
Creating special patient protocols will Help Patients Waiting
There should be special patient protocols for major illnesses like chest pain, abdominal pain, or head injuries. These ailments demand prompt actions, from different nursing procedures to different physician’s orders, lab tests, and others. Therefore, healthcare providers need to take care of patients who fall into these certain descriptions. It results in saving lots of valuable time and decreases patient waiting.
Provide a comfortable reception area
If any of these tricks mentioned above are not returning the expected outcomes in terms of keeping down the patients’ wait times. You can at least give it a try to turn out your waiting room into a pleasant space for your patients. You can stock it with comfy seating, magazines, free WIFI, TV, complimentary tea, and coffee for taking care of patient’s comfort and entertainment that will optimize patient satisfaction in the long run even when the wait time isn’t ideal.
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Being a doctor or a physician at any hospital or clinic, you can adopt these 11 ways to reduce patients’ waiting times at the facility. However all the ways are tried and tested and equally effective, but the one creating a huge difference in this digital era is the adoption of telemedicine apps. Telemedicine apps help bring down the number of patients in waiting rooms, even patients waiting times through virtual doctor visits.
If you are already using any telemedicine platform, then it’s great; if not? You can rely on VCDoctor, a HIPAA-compliant telemedicine software that is cost-effective, robust, secure, and feature-rich to run a healthcare facility virtually. Even you can work on your unique telemedicine app development idea with us. Just drop a message or make a call, and our healthcare consultants will contact you and provide the required consultation for bringing your app idea into reality.