I am unfortunately, not surprised when I hear that patient wait times are high in the majority of medical practices out there. Emergency appointments happen that often push the provider to run behind. This often causes patients to become frustrated and dissatisfied with their medical provider. The item of concern is that the patient often waits a long time to see the doctor; only to be rushed out of the exam lane before the table has become warm underneath them. This is because the doctor is often trying to make up for running behind and has many other patients waiting.
So what is a medical practice to do? I recently had an encounter similar to this and the provider handled it quite well. I waited about an hour to see my doctor because they were running behind. Instead of making me feel rushed to get out the door, my provider sits down and really talks with me about what is going on. I could tell that she was not rushed because she kept engaging me with more questions so she could better diagnose the reason for my visit. This is why I have been a loyal patient for over 8 years.
I know, I know. It is hard to imagine taking more time with patients when a provider is already running behind. Consider this: How better can you improve patient morale than by giving them your full attention while they are in your presence? Think about it, have you ever had a providers’ staff member explain to you that the doctor is running behind because he/she likes to take the time to really visit with their patients? Probably not and if you did, perhaps that lessened any frustration you may have been experiencing.
Be the exception. Stand out in the medical community. There are so many practices vying for your patient’s business. Make each patient feel special by taking additional time for them. This marketing tip can be implemented today for free and can exponentially increase your patient base and improve your overall satisfaction rate. Why not give it a try?