Why do health care professionals need to know your status as a new or returning patient?

Published on 02/03/2018

Why do health care professionals need to know your status_

Have you ever sat in the doctor’s waiting room, only to find a dozen other patients waiting as well? Then, you wait patiently for your turn, and see all the patients who were present before you, and are called one after the other. By now, you have been waiting in the waiting room for an hour or more, and you are finally called in, starting phase 2, which is a wait in the exam room. At this point, you have already spent two hours of your time before seeing your doctor. The latter finally receives you. You explain the reason for your visit, but before you know it, the doctor quickly goes through your exam, orders lab tests, and prescriptions for your medication refills, and the consultation ends. In the end, you waited two hours for a five-minute consultation… And you feel like you’ve been cheated.

What happened?

The reason is simple: you weren’t that sick! In itself, this is already good news. The bad news is that many of the patients before you were really sick. As a result, the doctor had to spend more time with them because they needed it more than you did. Your consultation was limited to a follow-up visit, and a check of the laboratory tests.
So why wasn’t extra time set aside for patients sicker than you? Simply because the medical office staff did not know how much time would be required for each patient requesting an appointment. Each patient is assigned the same appointment time. It is a system that is not working for anyone. The very sick patient cannot afford to wait in the waiting room for hours, and the healthy patient who sees the doctor for a follow-up visit does not want to spend that much time.
In this case, what is the solution? Online platforms for booking medical appointments(Zocdoc, USA – Doctena, Europe). Such a platform not only allows you to schedule your own appointment, without having to go through the doctor’s secretary, but also asks you to fill in some specific personal information, which will allow the system to translate it in order to allocate the time needed for each visit according to the situation or problem. The system is programmed to ask you the most relevant questions in order to translate the information entered into an appropriate time for each appointment. This way, your appointment will be properly scheduled.
With the use of such a system for making medical appointments, you will no longer have to wait to see your doctor. The physician’s full-day schedule will be strategically planned so that the sickest patients will receive the majority of his or her time during office hours. This way, the sickest patients will be able to arrive on time, and then be called in to see the doctor immediately. Likewise, patients who come in for a follow-up visit can also arrive on time and be quickly attended to, as they will not have to wait due to the extra time required to catch up with the sickest patients.
When the appropriate length of time is calculated for each patient’s appointment, based on the patient’s status, type of illness, or degree of illness, everyone in the practice wins. Staff are not responsible for assigning the same amount of time to each appointment regardless of symptoms, the physician does not rush follow-up visits to give more time to his sickest patients, and patients no longer have to wait in the waiting room for hours. The online medical appointment scheduling platform eliminates the randomness of medical appointments, and makes your consultation with your doctor more convenient!
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PS: Doctena allows you to make free online appointments with thousands of doctors in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

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