The term waiting room, when used in regards to a doctor’s office, is a euphemism for patient frustration. Patients expect their visit to the doctor–be it to the dentist, pediatrician, or ophthalmologist–to exude a certain level of efficiency at every turn. Such an expectation is understandable considering that patients place their well-being in the expertise of the ophthalmologist. One of the most proactive measures to establish this effective office environment is to reduce patient wait time in the ophthalmology office.
According to a 2013 survey of 5,000 patients, 90% of patients report experiencing aggravation associated with the traditional wait time in the doctor’s office. In fact, 55% of patients contend that they wait more than 15 minutes on average. This average wait time will vary upon specialty. However, there can be very little debate that most ophthalmology practices will far exceed that number. Since doctor’s offices center on human interaction, it’s understandable that there are some occasions when a bit of discrepancy exists around appointment times, but patients will feel much less frustrated by the wait if there are purposeful tasks they can complete while they wait.
Many ophthalmic offices use technology to better communicate with their patients. For instance, modern day technology can allow the patient to complete the registration process via online forms from home prior to the visit. If this is not possible, an iPad or tablet can be available and used for patient registration at the practice in place of paper and pen admission forms. This leads to greater efficiency, accuracy and effectiveness which will speed up the traditional registration process.
Ophthalmologists may also purposefully restructure their offices to add greater efficiency to a patient’s experience from entrance to exit. Advantage Administration, Inc. incorporates our “ReadyTime” techniques that are proven to reduce patient waiting time that allows the physician to examine an average of two to three more patients per session each day (two sessions per day). With the ReadyTime system, we evaluate current scheduling templates and redesign them to maximize the office’s time management. Streamlining the registration process as well as analyzing and redesigning the patients’ flow from entrance to exit will ensure that everyone’s time is honored. Even though most ophthalmology office managers are exceptional at budgeting time within their practice, it’s helpful to have the objective expertise of a third-party specialist who is able to offer strategies that have before not been considered.
The nature of the doctor’s office may never be one of absolute immediacy. After all, doctors need to spend time with their patients, and no patient wants to feel that their examination was rushed. This paradigm may demand that some wait time always exist in the medical office. Fortunately though, there are ways to make that time meaningful for both the patient and the ophthalmologist. Please contact us today to discover how your medical office can achieve a level of efficiency that everyone will appreciate.