How to Turn Waiting Time Into Time Well Spent
Waiting room – the very name sounds like a place to waste time. But waiting rooms don’t have to be a bottleneck of frustration for your patients. Instead, medical professionals can turn waiting rooms into efficient information centers, not just with cosmetic changes, but also with a focus on the competencies that can be achieved. In other words, turn time spent waiting into time well spent. When patients make routine visits to the same clinic, making sure their waiting time feels positive and productive becomes even more important.According to a survey of private care offices, “how patients feel about their physician encounters and the quality of their health care is directly related to the impression of their time in the waiting room.” Research also indicates that patients give more complete answers while filling out information in a waiting room than they do while waiting to see their doctor in an exam room. So why not make the most of their time in the waiting room?
Here are some opportunities for assisting patients – and improving their experience:
- Patient Questionnaires - can capture a detailed medical history, a list of medications, descriptions of the symptoms and the time frame. An added benefit for patients is that they are given the opportunity to express some of the more delicate issues in writing, rather than face-to-face. Bladder diaries will also help chronicle behavior and an improvement schedule.
- Question Prompt Sheets – help patients set goals prior to appointments and express their expectations. A meta-analysis of randomized control trials (RCTs) reflected a statistically significant increase in patient satisfaction when patients used waiting room time to set their appointment goals.
- Patient Education Material - a host of studies indicate patients want information about their health concerns. Posters, video’s, brochures offer an opportunity to educate and reassure patients. Allowing them time to process the information before their appointment can help increase their confidence and satisfaction in the treatment choices that are made. Research has also linked waiting room education to increased patient satisfaction.
With an established link between patient satisfaction and positive waiting room experiences, it’s no surprise that some clinics are taking their waiting rooms to the next level. Providing free Wi-Fi and charging stations are becoming more common, in addition to flexible seating areas and other amenities. For more ideas, check out this write-up from Healthcare Design: Waiting Rooms: How to Design to Impress.
But what about treatment time? As you know, percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) requires weekly treatments of 30-minutes, at least in the beginning. As with waiting room time, you can turn treatment time into time well spent.
Many patients look forward to their appointments as an opportunity for “me time” to do such things as catch up on emails or read a book. There are even people who sleep during these sessions! But Treatment Time is also a great opportunity review the patient’s bladder record, talk about behavior modifications, and complete the treatment record.Urgent PC is indicated for the treatment of Overactive Bladder and associated symptoms of urinary urgency, urinary frequency and urge incontinence. Treatment with Urgent PC is contraindicated for patients with pacemakers or implantable defibrillators, patients prone to excessive bleeding, patients with nerve damage that could impact either percutaneous tibial nerve or pelvic floor function or patients who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant during the duration of the treatment. Most patients don't experience side-effects. If side-effects occur, they are typically temporary and include mild pain and skin inflammation at or near the stimulation site. Caution: Federal law (USA) restricts this device to sale by or on the order of a physician. For complete instructions for use, storage, warnings, indications, contraindications, precautions, adverse reactions and disclaimer of warranties, please refer to the insert accompanying each product or online at www.cogentixmedical.com. Urgent PC is a registered trademark of Cogentix Medical © 2015 Cogentix Medical. All rights reserved.