Guest post by Peter Mansfield, director of marketing, QLess.
Healthcare is one of the primary economic engines of America’s cities and a sector where technology innovation remains a high priority. However, recent findings from a ClickSoftware study conducted by Harris Poll, revealed that Americans feel healthcare is one of the country’s most frustrating industries — because of the amount of time spent waiting to be served. So, where’s the disconnect?
It’s no secret, there are a few worse places to wait in line than the doctor’s office or urgent care, surrounded by coughers and sneezers. To this end, healthcare facilities must take a step back and ask themselves the question: How efficient are you?
For most healthcare professionals that’s a tough question. The truth is, it’s well worth giving serious consideration to the operational aspects of your healthcare practice or clinic. After all, inefficiency directly impacts your bottom line in a multitude of ways. Worst of all, a poorly run area of your business can foster a negative influence that permeates other aspects of your practice. One poorly focused or lackadaisical area will frustrate not only your patients but also your team and the employees who really want to push a practice forward.
Where to start? From hospitals to urgent care centers, healthcare businesses usually require the coordination of many different moving parts. That includes your team, systems, payers, and of course, patients. It’s worth thinking through the life cycle of a typical patient visit to identify critical points that help define and assess the overall experience your facility provides.
Guest post by Dr. Alex Backer, founder and CEO, QLess.
We’ve all been there—sitting for hours in a waiting room of patients requiring medical care. With only a nine-month-old copy of TIME magazine to entertain you, your mind will likely wander to your fellow patients. What ails them? Avian flu? Tuberculosis? The measles? It’s no wonder that patients who have to endure long waits and exposure to other ailments either walk away or become less than enamored with their healthcare provider.
Nearly one in four patients echo the same complaint when visiting an urgent care center, hospital or their primary care physician: time spent waiting, and waiting and waiting some more before they are seen. People are impatient when it comes to waiting for anything. This is even worse when related to medical attention. Long waits at medical offices create an awful first impression and a stressful atmosphere that also adversely effects staff. Worst of all, the long waits and the resulting issues could be so easily avoided.
So how do you ease the pain for your patients and staff? Start by defining how you like to be treated when visiting medical offices or other service providers. Then share a commitment across your team to maintain a patient experience based on respect, thoughtfulness and efficiency. Lay down ground rules and targets that are achievable and actively promote these to your team and patients. On an ongoing basis, recognize and praise your team’s achievements in meeting goals and going beyond in their efforts to engage patients effectively.
Technology can also play a huge role in eliminating waiting room frustrations. Wait management solutions take the pain out of appointment setting and management for both your patients and your office. Beyond the improvement this offers to the patient experience, time slots are optimized and resources aligned automatically.
How It Works
Virtually everyone carries a mobile device. So why not empower patients to interact with you via their phones, or even their computers? QLess, a wait technology provider of mobile queue solutions, offers a simple-to-use and easy-to-monitor-and-manage solution that does the following: