Overcoming the biggest frustration in the waiting room

 

Last year we reached out to over 1,000 patients to learn more about what they find most frustrating about the waiting room. What we discovered is that an overwhelming 83% of frustrations in the waiting room are centred around patients not knowing the wait time.

Realising that wait times are unavoidable, even for the most efficient clinics, we turned our attention to building a feature within our app that could help clinics better manage this frustration without adding additional stress (or work) to reception staff.

This led to the creation of Place in Queue, a feature that reduces the chances of patients becoming irritated in the waiting room by showing them they have not been forgotten. 

What is Place in Queue?

 

Place in Queue is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a patient’s position in queue for a specific doctor. The number is displayed in the HotDoc app, on the HotDoc website and on the screen of HotDoc Check-In Kiosks.

Currently there are two ways a patient can see their place in queue. The first is by booking an appointment through a HotDoc platform. This includes the HotDoc app, the HotDoc website and the HotDoc booking widget, displayed on clinic websites. When a patient books this way, they can see their place in queue on all the mentioned devices immediately after checking in, regardless of whether they check-in at the front desk or via a HotDoc Check-In Kiosk.

Patients who book through other platforms can also see their place in queue, however, they will need to check-in using a HotDoc Kiosk. In this instance, their place in queue will be displayed on the kiosk screen itself.

In future, we plan on being able to show place in queue to all patients, regardless of where they originally booked or how they decide to check in, but this feature will take a little time to build.

 

The Benefits

 

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, the biggest benefit of Place in Queue is neutralising the frustrations of patients who are forced to wait longer than expected. Especially in clinics with multiple doctors, patients can often become irritated when they see another patient come in after them and get called up before them. 

We have designed Place in Queue so a patient can see, not only their position in queue, but also their doctor’s name. For instance, the alert will say, “You are 2nd place in queue for [doctor’s name]”. This way a patient can recognise that others aren’t cutting the line, but are instead in line to see a different doctor.

As well as reducing irritation in patients, Place in Queue reduces the pressure placed on reception staff who are continually fielding requests from patients asking how much longer they have to wait. This means staff, not only have more time to spend on other tasks, but they become less frequently entangled in altercations with annoyed patients.

Getting started

 

Place in Queue costs nothing for clinics using HotDoc and will be automatically turned on for all medical centres on Thursday, December 13. If you do not wish to use Place in Queue, please contact your Customer Success Manager and we can turn it off. Soon you’ll be able to manually turn it on and off on your own using the HotDoc Dashboard.

Resources to introduce Place in Queue to patients

 

To help HotDoc clinics get the most out of Place in Queue, we’ve created some resources, including posters and Facebook ads, which we’re happy to send to you. These resources should make it easier for you to introduce the feature to your patients so you can get the most use out of it. To request an order, simply reach out to your Customer Success Manager.