Friday, January 25, 2013

Reducing Patient Wait Times

Health Leaders Media published an article on "How Physicians Can Reduce Patient Wait Times"  The basis of the article was a survey that was administered by Merritt Hawkins & Associates on patient wait times.  The survey studied the wait times for the following specialties: Family Practice, Cardiology, Dermatology, and Orthopedic Surgery.

Family Practice:
Longest Wait Time: 99.6 Days, Shortest Wait Time: 2.47 Days, Average Wait Time: 20.3 Days

Longest Wait Time: 104.4 Days, Shortest Wait Time: 3.4 Days, Average Wait Time: 22.1 Days

Longest Wait Time: 98.7 Days, Shortest Wait Time: 2.5 Days, Average Wait Time: 27.5 Days

Orthopedic Surgery:
Longest Wait Time: 59.9 Days, Shortest Wait Time: 2.9 Days, Average Wait Time: 16.8 Days

The article suggested that the following take place to address the wait times:
  • Adopt modern tools (for example: EHR)
  • Use creative and innovative scheduling models
  • Have office hours that better accommodate patient's needs
  • Look at quality measurements (such as patient demographics)
Some other solutions the article suggested were: 
  • e-messaging, e-visits and groups clinics
  • pilot programs - have one physician go around and teach the others to use new protocols.
To download the full article, please click here: How Physicians Can Reduce Patient Wait Times

For additional resources by specialty, please click the following link: Medical Reimbursement Resources Page

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