Patient flow management revisited: Increase patient satisfaction

“Doctors’ schedules change, and they change often. Technology should make it easy for changing everything, keeping it current, and most importantly, communicating the change instantly to stakeholders.”

Patient flow management is a subject that often receives less attention than it deserves. However, it is one of the key areas that influences patient satisfaction. More importantly, well-planned and effective patient flow management strategy enables you to save time, as well as reduce stress in your practice - something completely invaluable in the medical field.

Oftentimes, there is a tendency to think that very little can be done to manage patient flow. It’s an occupational hazard - something to live with. Many doctors will provide various scenarios of how things go wrong.

The problem starts with the patient seeking appointments in different ways - unexpected walk-ins, urgent appointments, VIP patients – and then continues with a lack of efficient staff skilled in managing the schedule, lack of transparency in queues, patient arguments, and doctors and patients being unable to keep the promise of the schedule. Too many issues. As one of the specialist doctors quite eloquently put it, “It’s as if you are trying to create a calm, serene pond in the middle of the Himalayan rapids.”

All is not lost - yet.

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