The experience you give your patients at your clinic is the primary element that will determine if they become repeat clients or not. One of the most frustrating aspects in a medical clinic is having to wait for an extended period to see a medic or getting lost trying to find your next station.
Ensuring a seamless patient flow in your clinic is thus essential. This is nonetheless not as easy or obvious as it may sound. Your dental instruments will, of course, determine how fast and efficiently you will handle patients, and it is essential to get the best and latest for your practice.
Although crucial, this is only one part of the equation. The other part lies in your clinic’s design. The following are some guidelines on how you can optimize the flow of clients in your practice.
1. Define patient destinations.
Studies among patients in the recent past have shown that they prefer small clinics compared to bustling ones owing to the ease of getting around in the former. Clear signage is thus one of the elements of an optimally designed clinic.
You should have signs on where a patient should go to next and clearly mark the doors and floors of your clinic. Along with the signs, clearly, segregate the sections of your practice so that people do not view it as a large expanse with simple signs.
2. Avoid bottlenecks.
In most practices, the primary bottleneck is the check-in counter. You can avoid this in your practice using architectural and operational changes. Irrespective of how large your practice is and what technology you use, you will have fuming patients in your waiting room if you overbook them.
Consider strategically using your exam rooms’ entrances for the check-in counter. This way, each exam room will handle only a small number of patients and thus reduce the wait times for patients and enhance their flow.
3. Plan a logistical flow pattern.
Sometimes, a patient checks in but must cross the paths of other new patients in your waiting bay on their way to the exam rooms. This creates confusion. Design your practice in a way that patients will sequentially move to the next step rather than retrace their steps.
You can, for instance, have the reception area up front followed by the exam area, doctor’s office, the lab then the pharmacy. Having separate check-in and check-out counters will also your patient flow.
4. Improve your parking.
If you do not optimize your parking, this will dramatically affect your revenue and patient satisfaction. This is because if patients cannot find parking, they will be late for appointments or be frustrated into abandoning your practice. Have a suitable drop-off area that can accommodate even people with limited mobility and emergency cases.
Seeing a doctor nowadays is not as simple as booking an appointment and getting to see them. An optimal internal and external patient flow is essential for any medical practice aiming for the highest number of clients and maximized revenue.
This minimizes undue waiting times for patients and allows you to maximize the time you spend with a patient and consequently give them the best of your service.