Why healthcare professionals need to know your status as a new or recurring patient?
Have you ever been sitting in your Doctor’s office only to look around and see several dozen other patients also waiting? Then you watch, as the patients that were there before you get called in one after another. Now you’ve been sitting in the waiting room for over an hour or more, and they finally call your name, initiating phase 2: waiting in the examination room. At this point, you’ve probably put about 2 hours into the process, and your doctor finally comes in. You start to tell her about why you are there, but before you know it, she rushes through the exam, writes a refill for your prescriptions, orders some lab tests, and she’s out of there. You just waited 2 hours for a 5-minute examination…and you feel cheated.
What just happened here, you ask yourself?
Well here’s what just happened. You weren’t that sick! That’s the good news. The bad news is many of the patients before you were very sick. They took up a much larger amount of your doctor’s time because they needed her more than you did. You were simply there for a follow-up visit and to have some labs checked.
So why didn’t your doctor’s office schedule additional time for the patients that were more ill than you? The answer is, the office staff had no way of knowing how much time each patient that called in to schedule an appointment needed. Everyone got scheduled for exactly the same amount of time. It’s a system that works for no one. The very ill patient can’t wait in the waiting room for hours, and the healthy follow-up patient doesn’t want to expend the time to do so.
What’s the solution? Online medical booking platforms (Zocdoc, USA – Doctena, Europe) . The scheduling platform not only allows you to schedule your own appointment, without going through the Doctor’s receptionist, but it also requests specific information from you so that it can allot the correct amount of time for your visit. They system knows if you are a new or recurring patient and it translates that information into the correct amount of time for each visit. The system is programmed so that it knows what questions to ask you and how those questions translate into the proper amount of appointment time. Then it schedules you appropriately.
By using the system to schedule your doctor’s appointments, you won’t be left waiting to see your doctor. Your doctor’s entire day will be strategically planned out so that the sickest of their patients receive the majority of their time during office hours. The most ill patients will be able to arrive on time and be taken back to see the doctor immediately. Those patients that only need to be seen for a follow-up can also arrive on time and be taken back quickly because they won’t have to wait for the excess time required to play catch-up with the more ill patients.
When the proper amount of time is scheduled for each patient, depending on their patient status, type of illness and degree of sickness, everyone in the office wins. The staff isn’t responsible for scheduling everyone for the same amount of time, regardless of symptoms, the doctor isn’t rushing through the wellness visits to allow for more time for their sick patients, and the patients aren’t left sitting in the waiting room for hours. The scheduling system provided by online medical booking platform takes all the guesswork out of seeing your Doctor and that translates into a more smooth office visit for you!
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