Reduce Patient Wait Times and Keep More Patients Coming Back
Keeping a timely patient schedule is a challenge for many medical practices. Patients arrive late, no-show, or try to get in for a last-minute appointment. Changes to patient schedules can throw off your whole day – make you miss lunch or leave late. Stay on schedule and reduce patient wait times by leveraging a few simple strategies.
Patient wait times have a huge impact on overall practice satisfaction. A survey of over 5,000 patients found that 97 percent were frustrated by wait times at a doctor’s office. Just about everyone has experienced wasting time at a medical office.
There are many changes you could make to reduce patient wait times and improve patient satisfaction. Here are just five you can try.
Request Patient Information Prior to Their Visit
Many medical practices have already implemented this strategy to reduce wait times. Have your office staff gather insurance information and patient history from new patients while scheduling their appointment.
Have referrals and patient records ready prior to the patient’s arrival. Have patients complete and submit necessary forms before their appointment. You don’t need a sophisticated program to achieve this. It can be as simple as gathering the patient’s email address during their initial call and send them the forms via email attachments. The patient can complete the form and email it back before their visit.
You shouldn’t be wasting your time implementing data into an EHR system or worrying about medical billing. Outsourcing your medical billing can save you time and money. Switching to a user-friendly EHR will save your staff a lot of headaches.
Create a No-Show and Late Policy
Have you been afraid to implement a no-show policy for fear of turning off patients? You could be wasting a lot of time and losing thousands of dollars a year. Set a time limit for how late you’ll accept a patient for their appointment. Be sure to inform patients of your policy in advance in person and via email.
Have repeat offenders? Charge a cancellation or late fee to motivate patients to keep to their appointments. Free passes and warnings are appreciated but set a limit for how many you’ll allow. Make sure patients know this is to prevent long patient wait times.
Use an App
Today’s patients love apps. Use an app like Qless to give your patients estimated wait times. It also allows patients to let your practice know if they’re running behind for their appointment. Patients can virtually wait in line and get updated on their position in line. This allows them to grab lunch or coffee while they wait, instead of sitting angerly in your office.
Start Providing E-visits
Technology means not having to conduct all visits in person. You can conduct virtual appointments and allow the patient to speak with you without leaving the comfort of their home. You benefit by being able to see more patients in less time and on your schedule.