Time spent in a care provider's office can be divided into a number of distinct segments. First, the patient spends time in a "waiting room." Second, they are placed in a queue to be brought back to the "exam room," where, after some initial screening, the patient awaits the arrival of the primary healthcare provider, usually a physician. The third segment is the examination and consultation. From the patient's perspective, the first 2 segments should be minimized, and the final segment—time spent with the physician—maximized.

This article analyzes the impact of waiting time on patient satisfaction scores; not only of satisfaction with the provider in general, but also with the specific perception of the quality of care and provider's abilities.

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