There are plenty of studies like this one highlighting the correlation between patient satisfaction and the actual one on one time they spend with the doctor during the visit. Ultimately, a large part of patient experience is derived from how the doctor interacts with them. Unfortunately, most of the studies are based on the care the patient receives after they meet with the doctor. When you add up the time the patient spends waiting on hold to making the appointment, waiting in the lobby (21 mins), waiting in the exam room, speaking with office staff or nurses it can have a big impact on the patient experience. Face to face time with the doctor can be less than 5 minutes, so ultimately the satisfaction of that visit is affected by time waiting.
Medical offices are businesses too and customers (patients) will look for doctors that understand their expectations beyond great medical care. You can see those changes in many offices today. Some offer Wi-Fi in the lobby so patients can use their iPad or laptop or flat screen TV’s with interesting programs on. My son’s dentist has a gaming room for kids to ease the pain of waiting. Others offer after hour scheduling support on the phone or Internet.
What are your thoughts about waiting on hold or at the doctors office?