When a patient walks into the waiting room at a medical clinic, oftentimes they are entering an environment that’s crowded, noisy, and generally unstimulating. Partner that with a patient fearing they could catch something from the stranger they’re sitting near, and you have a space that is rather challenging to endure.
As a doctor, you should find this concerning. You do not want the condition of your waiting room to serve as a barricade for those in need of medical treatment. Even if you do your best to keep this area in tip-top form, not all patients will buy into it.
Being a medical professional is about ensuring all patients under your care receive the best treatment options possible. If you know a faction of your patients despise the idea of sitting within a waiting room, maybe it’s time to reconsider how you book and conduct appointments.
Here’s how clinic waiting rooms can motivate you to implement a telemedicine solution:
You See Stressed Out Patients Daily
Sure, some patients in the waiting room are stressed out or cranky as a result of the ailment they are experiencing. However, they could also be that way because the last thing they wanted to do was travel to their doctor’s office and have to wait an indefinite amount of time for treatment.
Ideally, you want any patient you see to be in – at the very least – a neutral state of mind when meeting with you. You don’t want them coming in agitated or run down from the experience that preceded them seeing you.
By making doctor-patient video calls available for certain types of appointments, chances are more patients you see will enter the visit even keel.
Clinical Staff Can Feel Overwhelmed
On those terribly busy days at the medical clinic, staff are tasked with handling a lot. Besides greeting patients in-person, answering the phones, not to mention additional administrative and pre-appointment duties, your team is located in the heart of the waiting room.
Sometimes, this means quelling concerns of patients who feel as though their appointment should’ve begun already, or ensuring people are properly behaving themselves in that setting. This is a lot to ask from your clinical staff.
If you offer more online doctor’s appointments, you can give your trusted team a bit of a breather every now and then.
Illnesses Can Spread
Even if your clinic has done its best to promote sanitary behaviour in the waiting room (i.e., wearing masks, sanitizing hands, social distancing, disposing of used facial tissues, etc.), there is always the chance a patient will catch a virus from another.
Unfortunately, the person who falls ill as a result of this circumstance will eventually consider the possibility that their illness came as a result of being in your waiting room. This could cause hard feelings and/or the patient becoming less interested in seeing you when necessary.
While not all appointments can be handled via a telemedicine solution, your clinic needs to let patients know that if catching an illness in the waiting room is a concern for them, they can have a live video chat online with their doctor.
Crowded Waiting Rooms May Burn You Out
Even though you have become used to jumping from one patient to another, looking out at a waiting room and seeing an endless stream of people waiting for you will prove itself to be exhausting at some point.
When you offer more online medicine appointments, you can balance out your day much better. For instance, you can create a schedule in which in-person appointments are held in the morning, while patient video calls are conducted in the afternoon.
Going this route will take you off your feet and ease the pressure of working through a patient waiting room that always feels crowded.
Once patients know how to see a doctor online and get comfortable with the video conference solution you use, they won’t mind helping you create a calmer, better-paced medical clinic.