Four Proven Ways to Reduce Patient Wait Times

ways to reduce patient wait times

Nothing frustrates a patient more than sitting in a waiting room for hours to see their doctor. Unfortunately, too many doctor’s offices don’t have a system to keep waiting times short, so patient satisfaction suffers. Luckily, there are some ways to reduce patient wait times and improve the patient experience in your office.

Billing is another process that puts patients on edge. Sometimes insurance makes that problem worse by denying claims. Visit here to read our guide to medical billing denials

Let’s look at the four ways to reduce patient wait times in your office. There are many more ways to improve the wait times, but these are some of the best.               

One: Identify Problems in the Process

Identification is one of the most critical steps. By setting up surveys, asking patients about their experience, or closely examining the process, you can see how to improve the pre-exam process.

Learning about your process can help reduce wait times in the waiting room and exam rooms. Maybe you need to hire new help in the reception area or set up different methods for patient sign-in. Watching how your office runs will help you figure out the stumbling blocks in your check-in method.

Two: Gather Information Remotely

Many professionals think gathering patient information is best done during their first visit, but it creates a lull in the exam process. If the patient’s appointment is at a set time, they usually don’t arrive early enough to fill out the paperwork before the exam. This lull starts the vicious cycle of backlogged appointments in your schedule.

You can stave off that lull by getting the patient’s information in advance via a patient portal on your website or by phone and email correspondence. Gathering the patient’s information in advance is one of the best ways to reduce patient wait times. It helps keep the appointment on time and allows you to familiarize yourself with their case before they step into your office.

Three: Set Up Policies for Absent Patients

Sometimes patients show up late for their appointments. We all do it sometimes, but regular tardiness slows down your practice and starts the cycle of long wait times. Instead of fitting them in, set a time limit in your office that forces late arrivals to reschedule.

Four: Implement Mobile Wait Lines

Mobile check-ins and wait lines help drastically reduce wait times. They allow patients to check into their appointment before they ever show up and give them an approximate wait time based on who else is in line. This queue has the added benefit of helping you manipulate your schedule around tardy or absent clients.

Protect Yourself with Proper Management

Now that you know some ways to reduce patient wait times, try to put them into motion in your office. Managing your time is key to the flow of your workplace and your patients’ experience. Contract management in healthcare is another vital tool that helps offices run smoothly.

If you need remote services for your practice, such as IT support, billing, contract management, or business planning, call PracticeForces at (727) 499-0351.

Parul Garg, CEO and co-founder of PracticeForces, has significantly contributed to the growth of over 1,000 U.S. medical practices through her expertise in medical billing and coding since the company’s inception in 2003. With a background in Computer Science and an MBA in Human Resources, her leadership and AAPC-certified coding skills have been pivotal in managing the company’s operations effectively.

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