A good way to experience your entire practice through the eyes of a patient is to shadow your patients to gain a fresh point of view. This means that you follow them through each stage of their visit from the moment they enter the practice to when they leave. This experiment allows you to:


  • Observe how the staff interacts with patients
  • Ensures no tasks are duplicated
  • Track the time it takes for tasks to be completed
  • Experience the patient flow of your practice


Many articles, like the enclosed, also recommend taking a survey at the end of the appointment to see if the patient thought any part of the process could have been completed faster or more efficiently. Although the article suggests that this be done at specific points during the year, having an ongoing electronic “patient shadow” system for each patient that enters your practice would of course be desirable.  And having a system in place that follows each patient and captures key metrics of the patient visit such as reception area wait times, exam room wait times, how long staff is spending with each patient and complete door-to-door visit times would be preferable.

Capturing and responding to key metrics at each stage of the patient’s visit, as well as Patient Satisfaction Survey results for your practice, is the best way to improve your business from top to bottom.


Check out this video perspective on Lean Patient Flow.