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It's about time...
Old 07-30-2009, 05:29 PM   #1
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It's about time...

Stealing shamelessly from the airline industry, a medical clinic has installed a monitor in the waiting room displaying wait times to see each of their physicians. Even allows a patient to reschedule if the wait is too long. Looks like a great idea to me.

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Old 07-30-2009, 06:40 PM   #2
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+1! I get really annoyed since I am very punctual (22 years in the Army Guard). On time, on target!

Last time I went to the docs I sat in the waiting room for close to 30 minutes past my appointment, then sat in the exam room for another 15-20. My BP was up because of it!
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Old 07-30-2009, 06:46 PM   #3
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This is why I always try to get the first appointment of the day, or failing that, the first one after lunch.
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Old 07-30-2009, 06:47 PM   #4
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The monitor in the waiting room showing wait times would be wonderful! Then, instead of sitting in a waiting room for an hour and a half, catching 25430985 kinds of cold or flu from the other patients, I could go elsewhere for an hour and come back later for a shorter wait.

We'll really know that medical offices have hit the 21st century when the staff calls the patient on their cell phone when the time is right. Since it always seems to take at least 1/2 hour sitting in the examining room after being moved there from the waiting room, they could just call the patient when an examining room opens and we wouldn't have to do "waiting room time" at all.
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Old 07-30-2009, 07:46 PM   #5
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My doc works at one of the walk in clinics here that requires no appointment. Pretty common in my town. They open the doors at 7:45am and I always make sure I'm there by then. I'm usually in the first 3 names called. Works out pretty well. In fact I have to go in within the next 10 days. About to run out of my cholesterol pills. Ughhh....... also time for the prostate exam.

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Old 07-30-2009, 07:49 PM   #6
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I've always been a mutant. Run my practice on time for the last 34 years more or less.

The biggest problem is telling patients who arrive 15 minutes late that they either have to reschedule, or wait around for a cancellation/no show, barring unforeseen circumstances or acute symptoms.
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Old 07-30-2009, 08:36 PM   #7
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When I was w*rking, this used to drive me nutz. I had pretty limited sick time, so if the wait was going to be more than 30 minutes, I would reschedule. Unexpected stuff happens in a doctor's schedule, and I understand that. However, I never felt like I had to sit there and suffer for other people's (patients) lateness.
My docs do not tolerate lateness without a call - automatic reschedule or the option is given to wait around to see if a no-show happens. I got stuck in a few meetings but made sure I did a "I'll be a little late" call. No problem.
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Old 07-30-2009, 08:53 PM   #8
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Maybe because I've worked in the medical field for so long I understand delays . Emergencies happen and if it was your family wouldn't you want the M.D. to take care of the emergency first and then tend to people's colds ? M.D.'s are late for a lot of factors their surgery ran late , the M.D.s before them surgery ran late , Emergency , Dealing with family's of patients . I worked almost forty years in the Medical Profession and I never knew a M.D. who was late for trivial reasons .
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Old 07-30-2009, 08:54 PM   #9
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I'd guess that I have walked out of doctor's and dentist's ofices about five or six times in my life. I give them 30 minutes and then tell the receptionist I'll reschedule. My time is MORE important than theirs since I have less of it left. One dentist I gave up on and fired him and my doctor seems to understand. I told him I'm not waiting more than 30 minutes. I hate being there to begin with so why wait an ungodly amount of time for them to show up.
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:07 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
Maybe because I've worked in the medical field for so long I understand delays . Emergencies happen and if it was your family wouldn't you want the M.D. to take care of the emergency first and then tend to people's colds ? M.D.'s are late for a lot of factors their surgery ran late , the M.D.s before them surgery ran late , Emergency , Dealing with family's of patients . I worked almost forty years in the Medical Profession and I never knew a M.D. who was late for trivial reasons .
I have no issue with this whatsoever.

What I do have a problem with is keeping the waiting patients in the dark about wait times - something this system addresses in an effective way, provided the information is accurate and updated as the situation changes.
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:10 PM   #11
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I have no issue with this whatsoever.

What I do have a problem with is keeping the waiting patients in the dark about wait times - something this system addresses in an effective way, provided the information is accurate and updated as the situation changes.

That is the responsibility of the Nurse's to keep the patient updated .
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:14 PM   #12
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That is the responsibility of the Nurse's to keep the patient updated .
Wouldn't their time be better utilized focusing on medical duties?
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:18 PM   #13
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I'd make you all wait while I decide when to retire.
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:19 PM   #14
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I'd make you all wait while I decide when to retire.
Which is exactly what you're already doing...
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:27 PM   #15
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Which is exactly what you're already doing...
...except that your life doesn't depend on it here. My patients are so cranky about this new policy I can't even begin to tell you.
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Old 07-30-2009, 10:13 PM   #16
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Rich's patients, mistaking him for Supermandoc, think that he can be in two places at one time. You've spoiled them, Rich!

For more on Open Access Scheduling, see....

The Outcomes of Open-Access Scheduling - February 2004 - Family Practice Management
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Old 07-31-2009, 05:39 PM   #17
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I'd make you all wait while I decide when to retire.
As long as you provide cold beverages and finger foods in the patient waiting area, we're totally OK with that. Plus a movie or Comedy Central on your waiting area TV too. No Jerry Springer channels allowed.

True story - a doctor I saw for my periodontal treatment many years ago had NO TV in his waiting room. He had this wonderful fish tank full of guppies and soft classical music playing. It was so mesmerizing that the waiting time was not even noticed. Everyone absolutely hates periodontal treatment, but we had to be the mellowest patients on the planet.
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Old 07-31-2009, 07:49 PM   #18
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True story - a doctor I saw for my periodontal treatment many years ago had NO TV in his waiting room. He had this wonderful fish tank full of guppies and soft classical music playing. It was so mesmerizing that the waiting time was not even noticed. Everyone absolutely hates periodontal treatment, but we had to be the mellowest patients on the planet.
I would LOVE this - bad, loud TV just makes it so much worse!

They're doing the monitors with wait times at the DMVs by me now (SoCal), and they post them online. Really good idea. An hour and a half to two hours at the two closest to me last week!! I drove 45 min north to the one that had an 11 min wait time and I'm sure I came out ahead.
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Old 07-31-2009, 08:17 PM   #19
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My worst experience was once when I waited 45 minutes to be "seen" for a physical, then was told to strip naked and sit on the table. I sat there shivering for another half hour then just dressed and left. The nurse saw me and chased me down the hall yelling "You can't leave". I growled "Watch me".

When I got home, there was a call on my answering machine asking where I was. It turns out they had "lost" me and forgot I was in the examining room. They never apologized and I never went back.
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