Keeping Me Waiting: Medical Practice Wait Times and Patient Satisfaction

Sep 21, 2010

Patient-centered medical practices seek to make patients feel better, both physically and emotionally. One important aspect of the patient encounter that tends to be overlooked is the time spent waiting before a patient sees a physician. Often, medical practices are unsure of how to minimize wait times, or may chalk up waiting to an undesirable but normal aspect of business. However, waiting to see a physician is a huge dissatisfier that increases patient anxiety and is frequently cited as a reason why patients leave a practice. Improving actual wait times, as well as patients' perceptions of their wait, can result in increased patient satisfaction and improved bottom lines. (July 2009)