Reducing wait times for patients is the ultimate goal of any practice administrator. Long wait times negatively impact patient satisfaction scores. Although, according to an MGMA survey discussed in a recent article, wait times improved by 5 minutes in 2016.
By limiting the time a patient waits to be seen by their provider, the patient feels cared for and respected by the practice, thus improving their overall satisfaction.There are several things a practice can do to minimize wait times and/or improve the patient’s view of a longer wait when necessary.
Using a process of pre-registration of each patient or having them come in 15 to 20 minutes before their appointment will help minimize their own wait and potentially impacting the entire schedule.
Double booking patients is another process that can result in longer wait times. It is great if you are the first person to be pulled back but if you are further down the list in the double bookings, your delay in being seen could be significant.
Allowing the practice managers to offer explanations and be transparent to the patients when things like this occur, ultimately improves patient satisfaction. Anytime you can go the “extra mile” for a patient and show they matter will improve the clinics satisfaction scores and keep the patients coming back.
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