How to do a patient waiting time analysis

How to do a patient waiting time analysis

Dixie Thamrin |August 15 2023 5 min

The customer has been in control for a long time. That is a well-known fact. It has often not been the case in the healthcare industry, though, but patients are catching up fast. With an increasing number of private healthcare provider options and online ‘digital health’ services, patients are clearly indicating how they want to receive their healthcare and what level of flexibility and accessibility they seek. To become a patient’s preferred healthcare provider today, you have to put the patient experience front and center. That means putting an end to one of the top complaints – long patient waiting times. Learn how doing a patient waiting time analysis can help make long wait times a thing of the past.

Long patient waiting times are no longer acceptable 

As more of the population lives in a digital world, we are used to instant gratification and accessibility. Frustration and dissatisfaction peak as we wait for service with no information, sense of order, or in stressful circumstances.

As a customer of a service, we view the entire experience as one involving many touch-points including communications and physical interactions. Often in healthcare, many touch-points include excessive waiting times, insufficient communication towards patients, digital transformation is slow due to political budget pressures, legacy infrastructures, and a requirement for widespread cultural change. However, digitalization within the healthcare industry is moving vastly forward with the realization of the many benefits and variety of tasks new technologies can support within the vital processes of achieving efficient patient care.

An appointment scheduling system can help make the appointment booking process more efficient, reduce patient waiting times, improve the waiting room experience with digital signage with frequent updates, and help enhance the overall patient experience.

Learn more about appointment scheduling systems and what solution can help contribute to better patient care and increase patient experience by downloading our Patient Experience Guide.

Analyzing Patient Wait Times

When looking at ways to reduce patient waiting times, it is important that the whole patient experience is considered.

  • How long has a patient waited for an appointment confirmation and can they easily change their appointment should they need to do so?
  • How long has a patient had to wait to be checked in for their appointment when arriving at a healthcare facility?
  • Is the patient easily directed to their doctor’s room or testing area and kept informed at all times?
  • How long did the patient wait to see their doctor and receive a referral?
  • Does a patient need to visit multiple specialists during their visit and how long do they need to wait throughout their visit?
  • How often does the patient visit the healthcare facility? It may be a regular occurrence based on their condition and needs which means the waiting times add up as a whole experience.

As you can see there are many areas of the patient journey which can add up to a very long experience.

Digitizing the Patient Journey

With a connected patient journey, it is possible to gain critical insights into the complete patient experience and implement improvements to reduce the actual and perceived wait times. You can read more about how Southeast Georgia Health System managed to decrease patients’ waiting time by 50% while increasing their patient volume by 90% using Qmatic’s solutions.

Connecting the Patient Experience:

  • Online appointments offer a way to track patient bookings and provide a seamless way of checking patients in via kiosks and scanners, enabling more efficient registration solutions for patients to announce their arrival.
  • Patients can be kept informed with mobile alerts and digital signage, making the waiting experience and waiting rooms more interactive.
  • Hospital staff have a clear view of patients waiting, and how long they have been waiting and can call patients digitally via an app.
  • Patients can leave feedback based on their visit to provide accurate insights that can be used in your efforts to improve the patient experience.

Digital transformation of healthcare provides many advances, including the improvement of the patient experience.

If you'd like to learn more about patient experience, how to measure it, and how to improve it, download The Complete Guide to Patient Experience.


Download the guide


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