Improving Patient Flow in Busy Waiting Rooms

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Waiting rooms have the unfortunate reputation of being crowded, disorganised, and hectic at the best of times. Lengthy queues, overworked reception staff, and delayed appointments are all symptoms of ineffective patient flow.

But it doesn't have to be this way.

Innovations like telehealth and mobile check-in apps are paving the way for a more seamless healthcare journey. And when used alongside technology like digital signage and patient calling, can dramatically improve the patient experience. 

Here is how you can improve patient flow in a busy GP waiting room. 

Adopt Telehealth at Your Practice

The global pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital healthcare initiatives like never before. Among these, telehealth has proved to be instrumental in improving patient engagement and healthcare outcomes – providing doctors and patients with more freedom in how they give and receive treatments. 

Some examples of telehealth include:

  • Remote diagnosis over video call
  • Using digital media to share information and advice
  • Monitoring patient wearables (e.g heart monitors and fitness trackers)
  • Doctor-patient communication via SMS messaging

The Benefits of Telehealth 

Using technology to deliver healthcare has many advantages, such as cost-savings, convenience, and reducing unnecessary footfall.

Telehealth has become essential during the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce the number of in-person practice visits and curb rising infection rates. 

With telehealth, patients can discuss treatments, order prescriptions, and access healthcare resources from the comfort of their own home. The accessibility that it offers means that patients can still receive quality healthcare without spending time in a busy waiting room. 

This results in less busy waiting rooms, fewer missed appointments, and better patient flow.Prepare your waiting room for the future with our latest free guide: 'How to  Futureproof Healthcare Waiting Rooms: Covid-19 and Beyond'

Use Self Check-In Software and Mobile Apps

Patient self check-in software has served to simplify arrivals and ease the burden on overworked admin and reception staff for years. 

Digital kiosks let your patients check-in with just a few taps of the screen. Helping to speed up arrivals, reduce unnecessary queuing, and ensure patients are settled into your waiting room quickly. 

But as patient numbers increase, these kiosks can quickly become crowded. This has led to many GP practices encouraging patients to use mobile self check-in apps.

Why Use Mobile Check-in Apps?

Mobile check-in apps let patients check-in for upcoming appointments straight from their phone, tablet or other smart devices. These apps help to further reduce queuing at reception and limit the number of physical touchpoints in the waiting room, which helps with adherence to social distancing guidelines. 

Once patients are checked in, an on-screen notification will let them know their doctor is ready, so they can come directly to the treatment room – bypassing the waiting room entirely if they choose to wait nearby.

A combination of mobile and self-serve check-in technology can go a long way in improving patient flow, eliminating crowding, and giving patients greater flexibility with how they approach their appointments.

Use Healthcare Technology to Your Advantage

Digital technology like telehealth and mobile check-in apps are helping GP practices stay on top of increasing demand and better manage their patient flow. 

They give patients and doctors greater flexibility, and during these uncertain times, a little more convenience can go a long way. 

To learn more about how to transform your waiting room and improve the patient experience, download our free ebook today

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