Blog

June 20, 2018

Appointment Wait Times Are an Obstacle to High Patient Satisfaction Rates

Appointment Wait Times Are an Obstacle to High Patient Satisfaction Rates

Did you know that 20% of patients have changed healthcare providers immediately after a long wait time experience? According to the Annual Vitals Wait Time Report, this alarming statistic shows the importance of keeping wait times low every day. You never know if a patient’s visit will be the last one.

Insight Into the Link Between Wait Times and Patient Satisfaction

The report also gave several other valuable takeaways including:

  • Almost 85% of patients said that reasonable wait times were somewhat or very important to a good patient experience
  • 30% of patients reported leaving an appointment due to a long wait time
  • Doctors who received 5-star patient ratings had average wait times of 13 minutes and 17 seconds
  • The difference between a 4-star doctor and a 1-star doctor was less than 15 minutes of wait time
  • 53% of patients who had poor access to healthcare left a doctor’s office because of a long wait
  • The current average wait time in America is 18 minutes and 13 seconds
  • The cities with the longest average wait times included El Paso, Memphis, Miami, Las Vegas and Fort Worth

What Does This Mean for Your Practice?

With patient wait times still high across the board, every practice needs to focus on streamlining the waiting experience to ensure patient satisfaction. On a day where you see 50 patients and have long wait times, you could expect up to 10 of those patients to walk out the door and never return to your practice again.

How can you reduce wait times?

  • Improve the appointment scheduling process using a scheduling tool like Next In Line
  • Increase patient access to appointment slots that become cancellations or no-shows
  • Offer patients the option to pre-register and fill out forms online before the appointment
  • Be transparent about wait times and tell patients upon arrival what to expect. Are you running 15 minutes behind? It’s better to tell them at the start of the wait instead of after 14 minutes have already passed.

Improve Patient Satisfaction with Next In Line

Next In Line is an innovative scheduling service designed to optimize the patient experience at your practice. We specialize in helping practices recover time and revenue. To learn more about our offerings and see how we can assist your practice with efficient scheduling, get in touch by calling 800-264-7101.

June 20, 2018 Blog