Staying on Time

January 1, 2009

Is there a workshop or course that teaches providers techniques on how to conduct a patient visit in a timely fashion? My providers tend to spend too much time with one patient while their other patients have to wait a long time. I am looking for ideas on how to improve this.

Question: Is there a workshop or course that teaches providers techniques on how to conduct a patient visit in a timely fashion? My providers tend to spend too much time with one patient while their other patients have to wait a long time. I am looking for ideas on how to improve this.

Answer: Our short seminar on “Patient Cycle Time” might help. Go to our free online webinar section, and click on the 2007 Complimentary Audio Conferences. You’ll find it near the bottom of the page under “Best of the Best.”

In general, look at your overall patient flow. The most difficult part of the equation is changing physician behavior. It might be easier to schedule appropriately so that waits don’t occur despite long visits.

A couple other quick tips: Although it seems counterintuitive, physicians move along faster if they ask patients to list everything they want to talk about during the exam at the very beginning. This way, the physician can prioritize and spend her time accordingly.

Long waits also usually go hand-in-hand with lots of overtime for staff. Point out what it is costing them.