We’ve all been there – going in to visit the doctor and spending hours in the reception or waiting room. The way that the healthcare system has been designed requires a lot of waiting from patients. Unfortunately, that can really impact a patient’s experience at your practice and impact the clinic’s reputation.
Fortunately, we’ve gathered information from athena health reviews to give you tips on reducing patient wait time. Read through this article to learn how you can avoid wasting precious patient time and improve your workflow.
The Infamous Wait Time At Clinics
Going into a clinic, there’s a number of things patients can expect. Forms, medicines, the doctor, and the wait time. It’s a common experience we’ve all been through. Patients often come in, have their vitals checked, and then sit down at the receptionists’ space. Even if they have an appointment, waiting is part of the experience.
One of the most common complaints in reviews you’ll see for practices regards the long time patients have to wait. The issue can go from a few minutes here and there to even hours. And it seems like the problem is only getting worse.
The thing is, making patients wait and have delayed access to healthcare can be costly. When patients have to wait for hours, they’ll be less likely to recommend you to other people. They’ll also be more likely to leave a bad review for the practice online, which could deter new patients from coming in.
Luckily, there is software that can help solve your problem. athenahealth EMR is one such software. It helps doctors manage their clinical, administrative, and billing work. In fact, athena health billing reviews are full of glowing praises for the software.
In this athena health review, we’ll show you how to cut down on wait time patients experience and improve engagement.
What Contributes to Long Waits?
There are a lot of factors that impact the time a patient has to wait. Overall, the population in the United States is aging, meaning more people are in need of healthcare. Plus, with an expansion of healthcare coverage, more and more people are finding it easier to visit the doctor. However, there aren’t enough doctors to meet the growing need.
Most patients seem happy to wait for doctors for a maximum of around 20 minutes. After that, they are more likely to feel unhappy or dissatisfied. And a lack of communication from the doctor or front staff can make this issue even worse.
Of course, patients understand that waiting can sometimes be inevitable. For people going to see specialists, this may be a given. After all, there are only going to be a handful of specialist doctors in each area. In rural areas, there may just be one.
Improving Patient Wait Times
There are a number of things practices can do to improve the wait-time. Here are some of the tips we’ve prepared after reading through athena health reviews.
Communication With Patients
Even with long delays, a way to keep patients happy is by communicating with them. By doctors and practice staff keeping patients in the loop regarding how long the delay will be, they can help fend off some of the anger and frustration.
It is also essential that when the visit does happen, it makes the patient happy and satisfied. Patients are more likely to go back to a doctor they like even if there is a long wait time.
Ultimately what patients are scared of is sitting in a room not being treated like a priority. They don’t want to be forgotten. What can help is honesty and transparency from the team. A simple way to minimize the issue is just by giving them options. Either they can come back later, reschedule, or wait.
This allows them to feel more in control of what happens in the doctor’s office. It also allows patients to feel like they are being spoken to honestly, which helps improve satisfaction rates. More often than not, patients will be willing to wait if they are kept in the loop.
Create An Inviting Reception
The environment where patients sit and wait for their appointment is also critical. If the waiting room is difficult to experience, it can make patients more, well, impatient. With harsh lighting, uncomfortable chairs, or no distractions, no wonder patients want to see their doctor as soon as possible.
It is therefore advised to create a receptionist’s space that is more comfortable to be in. use soothing colors that make patients feel safe. You can also place things in the room that patients can use to pass their time. An example is a magazine with interesting articles or television showing the local news.
With lots of distractions, patients are more likely to feel more comfortable, and more willing to wait for their appointments.
Have Front Desk Staff Involved
A crucial part of wait time management is your front desk staff. Not only can they help you cut down on wait times, but they can also help in improving patient satisfaction. When you’re stuck in a situation where waiting can’t be avoided, the front staff has a critical role.
The front desk staff at your practice likely carries out a myriad of jobs. They will answer phone calls from patients, manage waiting patients, carry out intake, even check for insurance. This can leave many staff members feeling exhausted and unable to make each patient feel like a priority.
One way you can minimize this is by using athenahealth EHR. The software helps to automate the administrative work that the front desk staff carries out. It also helps you organize a lot of the workflow of the practice. With a clearer direction of work to do, the staff members can be more available to answer questions from patients.
According to athena health reviews, the software has been crucial in the development of faster workflow. This will allow you to go through patient visits quicker, so there is a smaller wait time between patients. Instead of having a doctor spend a long time documenting the visit, the software makes the process easy and fast.
Final Note – The Importance of Athena Health Reviews
These small changes in your practice can make a major difference in how work is done. With the information gleaned from athena health reviews, you can change the outlook of your practice. These simple differences can lead to you becoming more involved, and your patient feeling even more satisfied.