Extended Wait Times in the Healthcare Industry

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Extended Wait Times In The Healthcare Industry
Kimberly Stollings
HI150-01
Unit 4 Project
Professor Gallegos
Kaplan University
May 8th, 2013

One major issue today in the medical care industry is extended wait times. Patients are frustrated with the time it takes to be called in to see their health care provider. They don’t understand all of the work that is involved in getting each patient’s care right and precise. With this being said, the TransforMed national demonstration project, or NDP, has an idea on how to shorten the average wait time for a patient (Gerdes, M.D, 2010). Cycle time is the total time spent by the patient in the medical care provider’s office (Gerdes, M.D, 2010). The concern was that there were no cycle time standards and patients were spending up to two to three hours waiting to see their doctor! The NDP suggests beginning with surveys. Give each patient a clipboard upon their arrival at the physician’s office. Have them input the time they arrived, the time they were called back into the exam room, the time the physician enters the exam room, the time the physician leaves the exam room and the time the patient left the office. The NDP takes into consideration those patients that have to have tests or other procedures done while in the office. These surveys are more effective if conducted several different days of the week and for several weeks in order to obtain an abundant amount of data because situations in a medical office can change from day to day depending on the circumstances. The doctor may have an emergency or a staff member may be late getting into the office. Each patient’s input is valuable to the surveys. The NDP found that arrival time is highly important to the productivity and cycle times of the office, both by the patients and the staff. The next step to improving patient wait times is to act upon the survey results. There should be staff meetings to discuss the results of the surveys and possible improvements....
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