Ways To Avoid Long Waiting In Hospitals

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Ways To Avoid Long Waiting In Hospitals (Image: Pixabay)
Ways To Avoid Long Waiting In Hospitals (Image: Pixabay)

New Delhi : Long waiting times in hospitals can be a significant source of patient frustration and lead to a negative perception of the healthcare system. To improve patient satisfaction, enhance the patient experience, and reduce revenue loss, hospitals need to find ways to reduce wait times. This article will explore ways hospitals can decrease patient wait times, including using digital technologies, optimising access management practices, and providing a welcoming environment for waiting patients.

●    Offer Digital Check-In Services:

One way to reduce hospital wait times is to offer digital check-in services that allow patients to submit medical forms before their appointment. By enabling patients to complete these forms online, hospitals can streamline the check-in process and reduce the time patients spend waiting in the reception area. It can also help to reduce the risk of errors, as patients can enter their information directly into a digital form rather than relying on handwritten paperwork.

●    Offer Hassle-Free Online Appointment Scheduling:

Another way to reduce hospital wait times is to offer hassle-free online appointment scheduling and rescheduling. Hospitals can make accessing care easier by allowing patients to schedule and reschedule appointments through a website or app and reduce the need to wait on hold or in line. It can also help hospitals manage their capacity better, as patients can schedule appointments conveniently.

●    Integrate Virtual Care Services:

Virtual care services, such as telehealth or telemedicine, can be an effective way to reduce wait times in hospitals. By allowing patients to connect with their healthcare providers remotely through video conferencing or phone calls, hospitals can provide care without requiring patients to physically visit the hospital or clinic. This can be particularly useful for patients who live in remote areas or have mobility issues, as it allows them to access healthcare services without the need to travel.

●    Leverage Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners:

Staying on schedule is crucial for reducing patient wait times in hospitals. One way to do this is to leverage physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) for routine or non-urgent visits. These healthcare providers can provide a wide range of medical services, help alleviate physicians' burdens, and reduce patient wait times.

●       Develop Better New Patient Lead Workflows:

Improving efficiencies and productivity is another crucial factor in reducing hospital wait times. One way is to develop better new patient-led workflows, which can streamline the process of getting care and reduce the time patients spend waiting. This might involve using digital technologies to automate specific tasks, such as scheduling appointments or processing paperwork.

●    Conduct Patient Surveys:

Conducting patient surveys is another helpful way to identify improvement areas and reduce hospital wait times. By asking patients about their experiences with wait times and other aspects of their care, hospitals can gather valuable feedback and identify areas where they can make changes to improve the patient experience.

●       Send Patient Appointment Reminders:

Sending patient appointment reminders is another effective way to reduce hospital wait times. By reminding patients about their upcoming appointments, hospitals can reduce the risk of no-shows, which can keep everyone waiting unnecessarily. Reminders can be sent through email, text message, or phone call, depending on the patient's preferences.

●       Apply for a Health ID Card Online:

One way to reduce hospital wait times is to obtain a health ID card apply online. Many hospitals and healthcare systems offer the option to apply for a health ID card through their website, saving patients time and hassle. Patients can easily access their medical records and information, schedule appointments, and make payments online with a health ID card. This can help streamline the care process and reduce the need to wait in line or fill out paperwork at the hospital.

An Abha card is a prepaid health ID card offered by the Ministry of Health. The card allows patients to access medical services at participating hospitals and clinics and can be used to pay for treatments, medications, and other healthcare expenses. In addition, by using an ABHA card, patients can avoid long waiting times at the hospital, as they can schedule appointments in advance and make payments online or at the point of service.

●    Optimize Access Management Practices:

Optimizing access management practices can also help reduce hospital wait times. For example, if a hospital has a cancellation or reschedule, it can call patients scheduled for a later date and offer them an earlier appointment. It keeps the hospital's queue filled, reduces revenue loss, and provides earlier appointments for other patients. In addition, automating the process of refilling appointments can help to streamline the process and reduce wait times.

●       Streamline Internal Processes and Communications:

Streamlining internal processes and communications can also help reduce hospital patient wait times. By eliminating unnecessary steps or redundant tasks, hospitals can improve their operations' efficiency and reduce the time patients spend waiting. In addition, effective communication between staff can help to ensure that patients are checked on time and that any delays are addressed quickly.

●       Use a Mobile or Virtual Queue:

A mobile or virtual queue can be an effective way to reduce patient wait times in hospitals. By using a digital system or ABHA card to manage appointments and queue patients, hospitals can reduce the need for patients to wait in the reception area or on the phone. This can improve the patient experience and make it easier for patients to access care.

●    Provide a Welcoming Environment for Waiting Patients:

While it is not possible to eliminate patient wait times, hospitals can make the experience as comfortable as possible for waiting patients. This might involve offering complimentary and secure wi-fi services, educational materials (either printed or onscreen), and plenty of comfortable seating. In addition, hospitals can consider moving patients from the reception area into available exam rooms as soon as they become available, which can help to indicate forward momentum and reduce the perception of wait times.


An essential way to reduce hospital wait times is to listen to your patients and their needs. Even if a hospital falls behind in its schedule, patients will appreciate transparency and a willingness to fix issues over time. Hospitals can improve the patient experience and reduce wait times by actively seeking feedback and working to address their concerns. For example, suppose you want to hold your organisation accountable for delays. In that case, consider offering patients a gift card to a nearby coffee or pastry shop to say thanks for their patience.