One of the biggest problems in hospitals is the long lines. It’s a hassle for the patients because it takes so much time which is so unnecessary. Hospitals know this, that’s why they try to come up with ways to make hospital visits more efficient. Wait times also affect a patient’s experience. According to a survey, longer wait times leave patients frustrated. Implementing effective strategies that will reduce wait time will greatly help with doctor reputation management. Reducing wait times isn’t just for patients. It also greatly helps the image of the doctor’s practice. If patients are satisfied with the service it will improve they have with the medical provider. It’s a good way for medical providers to maintain existing patients or turn new patients into long-term patients. Here are strategies that reduce patient wait times:
Use healthcare apps or software
The presence of telehealth solutions has helped the industry in so many ways. With this strategy, patients don’t even need to go to the hospital anymore. They can meet and talk with their doctor in the comfort of their own homes. All that is needed is a device like a laptop or a mobile phone and an internet connection. So much time is being saved with the help of telehealth solutions. Patients do not have to travel to the hospital and most importantly, they don’t have to wait in line anymore, they just have to jump in the call at their scheduled time.
Healthcare apps and software have also resulted in the creation of patient portals. Patients can create an account where their files, documents, and information can be stored. It makes accessing files easy. The doctors can have the patient’s files, paperwork, and records ready even before the patient arrives. This is effective and efficient because it also means that the patient can provide all the necessary things the doctor needs like filling out forms etc. Filling out forms and looking for paperwork can sometimes cause delays.
Healthcare apps and software also have additional features such as messaging and scheduling appointments. The messaging feature can be helpful in reducing wait time as the staff can send reminders about the appointment. Sometimes patients are late or miss their appointments because they forget and getting reminders can eliminate that problem. It can also be a tool that will allow patients to alert the staff if they are not able to show up or if they need to reschedule. It reduces the chances of the patients ghosting their appointment.
Implement a mobile queue solution
Aside from being able to schedule appointments through calling and through the healthcare app, there should also be an organized way to accommodate walk-in patients. A mobile queue app can allow patients to book an appointment even if they aren’t physically there yet. So that while they’re still on their way, they are already virtually in line. It can also allow them to do something else while they’re waiting, like grab lunch. It’s fine even if they’re not physically waiting at the reception area because it will notify them if it’s their turn. They can also see what number they are and what number is being accommodated at the moment so that if it’s close to their number if they’re not at the clinic yet, they can make their way back and get there on time for their turn.
Create a policy for no shows and late arrivals and stick with it
Set a time limit for late arrivals. 30 minutes should be more than enough. Charging repeat offenders can also help clinics stay strict with their rules. There should be a cancellation or late fee to motivate patients to show up on time. Do make sure that if you are doing this strategy, it should be known to all patients. Send an email, give verbal notices, or post it somewhere in the clinic.