With such a wide range of Provider options, patients have more say than ever in who they choose for their healthcare. From retail clinics to urgent care, the competition is ramping up. This is why most clinics are now becoming more patient-centered.

A patient centered practice focuses on making the patient feel catered to both physically and emotionally. It is not a surprise that many patients experience a good amount of anxiety when going to the doctor. Whether it is a routine check-up or a more serious visit, a patient's anxiety goes up the longer they are kept waiting. This can cause a decrease not only in their satisfaction, but with how comfortable they are with their Physician. Patients who are uncomfortable are less forthcoming and can create roadblocks in the doctor's care.

One thing that is usually overlooked is the waiting room. Every patient has to come through there even if no waiting is done at all. Most patients form their impressions of a practice within the first few minutes. If your waiting room is drab, out of date and generally depressing, what does that say about your Physicians?

More often than not, some waiting is inevitable. However, many practices think that their 30-45 minute wait times are average, when in reality; the average wait time is 24 minutes with reports showing a decrease in patient satisfaction after 10 minutes. A simple way to combat this is to update your waiting space. There's a reason that there is a joke about doctor's offices having out of date magazines, and that is because it is a far too common reflection of how often it is updated. The waiting room should be fluid. Constant improvements to make your patients feel more comfortable are key to making your practice more patient-centered.

This "Keeping-Me-Waiting" article does a very good job of explaining the different levels of patient comfort and how best to improve them. Keeping patients coming back has never been so easy.

If you would like to find out how Expeditor could help you achieve your goals through LEAN thinking, take a moment to fill out the Contact Us form on our website and one of our Consultants will be in touch.