Thursday, May 20, 2010

Smartphones Reduce Patient Wait Times

The average adult American spends four hours per year waiting for medical or dental care, with each wait averaging around 45 minutes (according to an American Time Use Survey).  Well now there is a smartphone app from MedWaitTime that allows the patient  to better manage their time and get real-time updates as to how long that appointment wait time is.

Patients have long complained about the wait times at their doctors’ offices.  In fact, a Consumer Reports survey ranked patient wait times as the #1 complaint among patients. MedWaitTime's solution is a free app for the iPhone and most other smartphones.  You search for your doctor, you enter the appointment time and you receive a real-time wait notification in the form of a Green, Yellow or Red icon.  The app also offers the ability to check emergency rooms and what doctors in your area offer walk-ins.  

MedWaitTime provides a way for doctors and hospitals to inform their patients about the current wait time and reasons for the delay. Informed waiting reduces the stress on patients and can limit the amount of dissatisfaction experienced while waiting. The service costs a clinic $50 a month, and helps reduce congestion in the waiting room and stress on healthcare staff.  When healthcare costs are a concern, managing the daily operation more efficiently might mean a clinic can actually see more patients and immediately fill those cancellation spot.  

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