Feeling unwell is never fun, but waiting to see a doctor or nurse can be even worse. No one likes sitting in a stuffy waiting room for hours, only to be seen for a few minutes. Here are ten ways to shorten patient wait times so that everyone, including patients and staff, can be happier and healthier.
1. Use a Patient Queuing System
A patient queuing system is one of the best patient retention solutions to manage patients and staff and shorten wait times. Using a system, patients can be seen in the order that they arrive or according to the severity of their condition. This ensures that those who need to be seen urgently are seen first, without making anyone wait longer than necessary.
2. Use After-Hours Scheduling
By allowing patients to call after business hours to schedule an appointment, you can avoid the back-and-forth of making and rescheduling appointments. It also permits the patient to call at their convenience.
3. Send Appointment Reminders
Appointment reminders are an example of patient retention solutions that reduce no-shows, which can help shorten patient wait times. By sending a reminder before an appointment, patients are more likely to remember their appointment and show up on time. This means there will be fewer empty slots in the schedule and less waiting for those who do come in.
4. Invest in New Technology
New technology can help shorten patient wait times in several ways. For example, electronic medical records can help streamline seeing a new patient. Having all of the necessary information readily available will equate to less time spent gathering paperwork and more time spent seeing the patient. Patient recruitment and retention service providers can also help to identify what new technology will be most beneficial for your practice.
5. Take Walk-Ins
While it may not always be possible, taking walk-ins can help reduce patient wait times. By opening the schedule to walk-ins, you can fit in more patients. This is especially helpful during peak times, such as flu season.
6. Reduce the Number of Cancellations
Cancellations can cause major disruptions in the schedule and lengthen patient wait times. To reduce cancellations, consider charging a fee for those who cancel with less than a 24-hour notice. This will encourage patients to only schedule appointments they can keep and make it less likely to cancel at the last minute.
7. Hire More Staff
If your clinic is constantly full and patients regularly wait for long periods, it may be time to hire more staff. Adding more doctors, nurses, and administrative staff can shorten patient wait times and help the facility see more patients each day. This is an especially good solution during peak times or periods of high demand. Patient recruitment and retention service providers can help with communicate with patients when staffing shortages occur, including recruitment for clinical trials.
8. Outsource Appointment Scheduling
If your clinic struggles to keep up with scheduling appointments, outsourcing appointment scheduling can help. Our company specializes in appointment scheduling and can take on this responsibility for you. This will free up your staff to focus on seeing patients and can help shorten patient wait times.
9. Create a Separate Waiting Area for Sick Patients
If your waiting room is full of sick patients, it can lengthen wait times for everyone. To avoid this, create a separate waiting area for sick patients. This will help to keep those who are healthy from getting sick and will shorten the overall wait time for everyone.
10. Collect Feedback
Finally, it’s important to collect feedback from patients about their experiences. This can help you identify improvement areas and facilitate changes to shorten patient wait times. You can collect feedback through surveys, interviews, or focus groups.
Following these tips can shorten patient wait times and create a better experience for everyone. By investing in new technology, outsourcing appointment scheduling, and reducing cancellations, you can make your clinic run more efficiently and see more patients each day. Call 4 Health is a leading provider of new technology solutions that can help you improve the patient experience. Contact Call 4 Health today to learn more about our services.