You made it as a as a healthcare professional. Meaning your waiting room is packed with patients who are ready to be enlightened by your knowledge. But sometimes, before patients even get to experience your expertise, they end up waiting longer than expected, which (literally and figuratively) does not sit well with them.
Don’t let a long wait be the reason you lose patients. You have worked hard to practice as a healthcare professional, and although you can’t always predict what each appointment will entail, here are three ways to avoid long wait periods for patients.
Provide an estimated wait time in advance
The “surprise” factor of is not fun, so try informing patients an estimated wait time prior to their appointment. But make sure to keep that information as honest as possible. If you notice any reason for a significant time change or delay, keep your patients updated so that they feel they are being cared for and not forgotten. By trying your best to give them a reasonable wait time, patients can come prepared with a book, a laptop, or anything to help pass the time.
Get your staff up to speed
Your receptionists, nurses, and other staff are the frontline to your patients. In fact, they set the tone of the entire visit. Bedside manner does not fall on the doctor alone, but needs to be carried throughout the entire office staff. By instilling kindness in your staff and arming your waiting room with valuable information, you can guarantee that your patients are happy, and never look elsewhere for care.
Keep patients occupied
How your waiting room is decorated, and what it offers, can help patients be more comfortable. By providing magazines, books, toys for children, water, and other small complimentary items, can make a big impact on how your patients perceive you as a healthcare professional.
Many waiting areas now have televisions to entertain patients and help pass time comfortably. Even go the extra mile by providing a handout with potential questions that patients can fill out to prepare for their appointment. This will help them to not only stay busy while they’re waiting, but also help them to feel prepared for their appointment.
Let’s face it: your time is valuable, and so is your patients. By creating a great waiting room experience, you will ensure that your patients are happy with your practice so you can continue to focus on providing impeccable healthcare services.