Six Ways for Physicians to Handle Patients Waiting

May 1, 2014 10:22 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

If you are more than 10 minutes late to a meeting – let the person waiting on you know you are late. It is a common courtesy that makes you look professional. Too often, physician practices try to hide when they run late, acting as if the patients should be honored to wait!

If doctors are late in clinic:

  1. Let the patients waiting know, be respectful of their time.
  2. Be honest about the delay.
  3. “The doctor is/was tied up with an emergency” – is always a good phrase.
  4. Tell the patient how long you expect the wait to last.
  5. Offer to reschedule the patient if they cannot wait.
  6. Update waiting patients every 30 minutes at a minimum.

Be respectful of others time.  Many people expect doctors to run late – that is more a personality test of the doctor than an industry norm.

Similarly, many physician practices (even those who often run late) will force a late arriving patient to reschedule. Do not get offended when patients run late, it happens.  Inform the late arriving patient they have two options:

  1. Wait and be worked in around the other patients in queue.
  2. Reschedule at a more convenient time.

Patients view their own time just as important as the doctor’s time in today’s world. If you are in the business of treating patients, treat them like the valuable customers they are.

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This post was written by Brian White

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