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Online Tool Takes the 'Wait' Out of Waiting Rooms

Cynthia Johnson for HealthLeaders Media, December 27, 2010

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Mehta acknowledges that not all doctors will embrace the tool. "Tech-savvy doctors who are compassionate and caring realize that this is a service industry and not some sort of professorial relationship where a doctor is lecturing a patient," he says. Although some physicians believe that patients should wait to receive their medical attention and expertise, Mehta believes that these physicians will eventually feel the effects of poor customer service.

Growing demand for the service
According to Mehta, MedWaitTime is growing rapidly as demand for the service increases. He says that three new clients begin implementing the tool each week, which costs approximately $50 per month per physician (their patients can access the service for free).

Healthcare facilities that routinely run four hours behind have contacted the company to learn more about implementing the tool. "In places like New Mexico, where there's a scarcity of healthcare resources, people don't have another option," he says. "They have significant wait times and they're trying to improve patient satisfaction."

Conversely, facilities located in places with an abundance of healthcare providers use the service because they know that patients will switch providers if they are routinely running behind.

"This is a natural technology solution to a big problem," says Mehta.

See Also:
How Physicians Can Reduce Patient Wait Times

The Physician's Place in the ACO

Using the Web to curb waiting-room times

NP Back Pain Assessment Shortens Wait Time


3 Reasons to Market Your ED Wait Times

 

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1 comments on "Online Tool Takes the 'Wait' Out of Waiting Rooms"


rcirillo (1/6/2011 at 1:42 PM)
Great idea & 1st step, but too many important pieces missing in this satisfaction issue. I don't think the "reason" for their lateness is important as much as what options patients have when the providers are habitually that far behind. What happens with the patient's notification? Are patients allowed to email back that they want to reschedule and have reasonable options? Are patients allowed to show up an hour or two later and be seen right away, or are people who were scheduled 'after' them (incl those walk-ins) keep bumping them...meaning does this become the same old "1st come 1st served" scenario which brings everybody back to wait wait wait, or you will miss your turn.