Few people enjoy a trip to the doctor’s office. One of the worst parts is the time commitment. Even if you are there for just a short visit, you usually have to wait at least 20 minutes before the doctor is ready to see you. Add in the commute time, and it costs you about an hour to just have a 10-minute conversation with a doctor. If you run a healthcare practice, you can change this by eliminating the waiting room.
It’s Really Not Needed
One of the reasons that waiting rooms exist is so that a doctor can help as many patients as possible. As long as the lobby is full, they will be able to visit a new patient as soon as they finish with their current one. However, that really isn’t necessary anymore. There are so many tools available that would allow a doctor to achieve this same effect without having a waiting area. You can use apps to help patients sign up for appointments and check in. You can even give updates on wait times so that people don’t have to sit around waiting.
Risk of Infection
Another reason that waiting rooms need to stop, is that they are unhealthy. If you visit a doctor with an illness, you are going to be sitting in the waiting room for a decent amount of time. During that time, you will be exposed to all the germs and viruses left behind by the people who came before you. When you leave, you will leave infectious bacteria from your own illness behind. You could end up catching a second illness at the doctor’s office because your immune system is already struggling. Of course there are ways to practice social distancing, but even those are not perfect. It would be so much healthier if you could go directly into the patient room without having to mingle with other ill people.
As mentioned previously, no one likes sitting in the lobby. It annoys patients when they have a 9am appointment but don’t get seen until 9:20. This reflects poorly on your business. If it is a consistent problem, your patients may look for healthcare elsewhere. By eliminating the lobby, and providing faster service, you will be a much more attractive healthcare provider to those living in your area. You will be showing that you understand the struggles that your patients face with their busy schedules.
Quality healthcare goes beyond having the best treatments and the best doctors. You need to have the best customer service as well. By making your patients feel valued, they will trust you more and they will be more likely to come back to your practice.
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