Why healthcare practices need a patient pager system:

Making a booking, calling ahead, arriving early – doctors still run over time! On average, patients wait up to 37 minutes for their GP in Australia. This problem isn’t isolated to down under though, it is a global problem that all medical centres experience. While hospital services are normally called out for their poor patient waiting times, there is little focus on the time spent seeing your local GP, or medical centre for a shorter, commonly less complicated visit. While this excludes urgent/emergency based visits, we explore how LadderChat can help improve patient waiting periods via the use of technology. Patient pagers were the first idea to come to mind. How do we design, build out, and maintain a patient paging system that is efficient, user friendly and cost effective?

 

Medical Practice:

Having visited hospital emergency rooms as well as medical centres, and GP practices in previous, it is a wonder that there aren’t already simple hospital paging systems in place. This would reduce the stress experienced by waiting patients and their carers/friends/family, as well as strained hospital staff. If more practices used medical paging systems there would be less of these questions asked:

  • “How many people are ahead of me?”
  • “How long is the wait?”

These are the most common questions heard by hospital and medical centre staff, and often passed along to the doctors within the practice. It’s a difficult situation to be put in as a healthcare professional who has a duty of care for the patient they are currently examining. While there are many types of complaints that can be heard and made about your practice, it was found that the top reason for complaining was in regards to wait times. As mentioned above, the average wait time per patient has increased to 37 minutes in Australia (up 10 minutes from 5 years ago). Complaints lead to stress for your practice staff, as well as practitioners involved. A recent survey discovered 95% of doctors experienced stress during the complaint process, and only 25% felt the stress was completely eliminated on closure.

Your healthcare practice may provide excellent service and care in your community, however high waiting times will be your downfall. So when we thought about patient pagers, we thought a lot about how we could make the process easy, and smart. Do we need to implement a wireless patient buzzer app?

 

The solution:

The answer we found was in our pockets! We use our mobile phones daily, so in a way, we just needed to fine tune our own version of a patient pager/call button!

LadderChat supports the healthcare industry with the use of current technology eliminating the need for customers to sit around waiting to be attended. Your medical staff/receptionists can easily track and notify patients as they arrive, allowing them to get a coffee nearby, pop by the dry cleaner or post office instead of just sitting in the waiting room. Patient experience is immediately improved, with a higher propensity to return for future requirements. Happier patients result in happier staff and practitioners. That means less stress experienced by all parties. A remarkably easy to implement solution for a commonly occurring problem across the healthcare industry.

Contact LadderChat to see the improvements that can be made in waiting times, reducing staff stress, and improving repeat patients:

Read more about doctor waiting from Sydney Morning Herald.