Waiting For Hours to See a Pediatrician

Waiting For Hours to See a Pediatrician.  Waiting for hours in the doctor’s office to be seen is not fun especially when it is a pediatric office and your children are hungry or irritable.  From an administrative point of view there are a number of things that both the doctor’s office and patient can do to lower the probability of a long wait in the clinic.

First of all, the practice of overbooking patients on a schedule is common in clinics and especially in County clinics.   For example, if you have 20 designated appointment slots in a day and you schedule 30 patients instead of 20 and everyone shows up, everybody must wait.

Why do clinics do this?  From the Clinic standpoint, it is an issue of profit.  In some communities, it is very common for patients not to show up or even call ahead to cancel the appointment.  The reaction to this is to overbook patients so that the appointments that do not show up will not impact the clinic’s profitability.  There are better ways of handling this.

IT is not enough to point out the cause of long waiting times.  We have suggestions for both the clinic administrators as well as the patients.  If the clinic and patients are proactive waiting time can be significantly reduced.

  1. What the clinic can do to reduce the waiting time to see a pediatrician.
    1. Use tools that increase the productivity of the doctor and medical staff. Upgrade equipment as well as the computer software to manage patient flow.
    2. Reduce staff turnover by treating the employees well and paying them what they deserve. Turnover can negatively impact proper scheduling of patients during the training of new employees.
    3. Paying employees a low wage or overworking them will cause them not feel motivated to work and will impact the time it takes to see a patient.
  2. What the patient can do to reduce the waiting time.
    1. Be on time for your appointment. Every time someone is late it causes the schedule to be backed up and increases the waiting time.
    2. Call ahead if you need to cancel or if you will be late. If given notice a clinic can minimize the impact of cancelations or late arrivals and can see walk ins during the appointment slots that are now empty.
    3. Be prepared with all the documentation needed such as the name of your pharmacy, vaccination records, addresses of where you had labs, ultrasounds or X-rays done.

Together we can do better.

Your Health Pediatrics Administration

407 574 4848

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