There’s probably nothing more frustrating than waiting to see your doctor at a clinic. In fact, inordinately long wait times are one of the key reasons for patient dissatisfaction.
While waiting at the clinic may seem like a small problem, it’s actually a big issue for the patients. In fact, a large number of patients even consider changing providers due to long wait times.
But if you think about it carefully, this actually represents an opportunity. Since wait times contribute a lot to patient frustration, reducing it can lead to greater patient satisfaction.
That’s why today, we’re going to let you in on some of the top ways to reduce wait times in clinics. Using these methods, you can ensure that your patients don’t have to wait unnecessarily.
1. Collect Data Before Arrival
Often, one of the major causes of delays at the clinic is the check-in process. Gathering data such as past medical records and insurance information takes time. If this is done after the patients arrive at the clinic, wait times are naturally going to increase.
That’s why it’s best to gather all patient information before they reach the clinic. The best time to do this is when the appointment is being fixed. This way, patients can arrive at the clinic ready to see the doctor.
2. Take The Help Of Online Portals
We’ve already mentioned that the best way to reduce wait times is to collect patient data prior to the visit. One of the best methods to actually do this is to create an online patient portal.
A secure web-portal can allow patients to fix appointments and upload all the required information. At the same time, portals can also be used to answer queries and update patients about appointments.
3. Employ Trained Staff
One of the major reasons for excessive wait times at clinics is the lack of trained staff. Experienced and competent staff members can contribute to reducing wait times.
Trained staff members can work to streamline your clinic’s workflow. At the same time, they can also improve communication with the patient. All this ultimately results in lower wait times.
4. Deploy Secure Messaging Solutions
One of the major causes of delays at clinics is phone calls. Excessive phone calls contribute towards keeping staff occupied. This leaves less time for attending patients who are actually at the clinic.
The need for phone calls can be eliminated by deploying secure messaging solutions. By means of secure messaging, important information can be quickly imparted to patients. This can reduce the number of phone calls at your practice. All this ultimately allows the staff to respond faster to patients and resolve their queries.
5. Put Clear Late And No Arrival Policies In Place
Often, the patients themselves can be late for an appointment, or might not show up at all. In such cases, keep clear policies in place regarding appointment rescheduling.
If required, you can even introduce late fines for patients not arriving for their appointments repeatedly. Make sure to have written policies in place, and ensure their effective communication to the patients. All this can work towards showing that you value their time, as well as yours.
6. Conduct Patient Surveys To Find Improvement Areas
Wait times are a result of bottlenecks in your clinical workflow. And it should come as no surprise that the patients themselves know where the worst bottlenecks are.
That’s why it’s important to conduct periodic patient surveys to locate and ascertain improvement areas. Once you’ve identified the bottlenecks, taking steps to clear them can often be a simple task.
7. Make The Waiting Room An Experience To Remember
Finally, make sure that the waiting room experience for your patients is a comfortable one. Keep the area well-lit with proper air-conditioning. Also include comfortable seating, educative reading materials, and maybe even free Wi-fi.
Wait times are one of the unavoidable truths of the medical world. But though unavoidable, it can, nevertheless, be reduced to a bare minimum.
And KPeyes can help you do just that. Using state-of-the-art monitoring facilities, we can ensure that your patients have to wait for the least. And in doing so, get the most out of your medical service in Australia.