No one likes to be kept waiting, especially if you’re waiting for healthcare. So, how can you make sure your patients no longer have to play the waiting game? It’s simple, once you realize a few simple things:

1. It’s not easy

There is no such thing as an ideal cycle time, although most practices like to see a door-to-door visit cycle time under 60 minutes. It all depends on the type of practice, how many patients you see, and the size of your practice. You need to be able to establish benchmark/baseline times for your practice. Which means…

2. It takes time

There are many ways to go about finding out your best possible patient flow which include things like streamlining check-in and check-out processes, and even changing your office layout. Figuring out what works best for your practice is the first step in unlocking your practice’s potential. The best way to do that is to…

3. See your office through your patient’s eyes

The best way to know what your patient’s experience is to, of course, be a patient. Go through each step of the patient flow lifecycle and keep an open mind. Try to imagine what fresh eyes would see and feel. Experience just how long your patients are waiting at each step of the process. This way, you can easily see where patient flow roadblocks are and pinpoint the bottlenecks.

The only way that you can truly know where your practice is from a complete patient visit time is to find a partner that can capture the following key times along the patient visit:

  • Check-In to Roomed Times (or Waiting Room Time)
  • Exam Room Wait Time for the Physician
  • Encounter Time with the Physician or Ancillary Services
  • Check-Out Wait Time

Once you have collected the average times for each key metric, then you can take action. This Door-to-Door-or-Cycle-Times article does a good job of explaining what you need to look for. You’ll quickly find that once you know where your practice lacks, it’s much easier to know what it needs.