Meeting or exceeding expectations leads to positive patient satisfaction. Expectation for urgent care or workers comp services starts the minute a patient hits your practice’s website. Assuming you provide the usual complement of services the patient is looking for, one of the first questions, or even anxieties, about choosing your center is “How long am I going to have to wait to be seen?”
If the patient knows in advance how long they’ll be waiting and is prepared for that, they are much happier than if they thought they’d be seen right away and wind up waiting, even if the former is longer than the latter.
They could call your center and ask the receptionist how long the wait is, and maybe that will be the case when they arrive, but then again, 4 more patients can walk in in front of them and add an hour to that expectation! Unfortunately, front desk staff’s estimates of wait time are notoriously inaccurate.
Once the patient has proceeded through the clinical encounter there are any number of things that result in less than desired patient satisfaction. Maybe the overall visit took longer than expected, or the staff or providers were rude, the bathroom wasn’t clean, they didn’t get a full explanation of their condition or treatment, etc, etc.
Most often you don’t know about any of these dissatisfactions except the really vocal ones that wind up on Facebook or Yelp, NOT with a good review or rating.
That’s why I like Clockwise – meet expectations, provide a smoother workflow, and gather valuable feedback from patients to improve your services.
I’ve used Clockwise for several clinics and on several websites. It works it’s magic on the front end part of the patient experience and has developed its solution around access to/waiting for care, the number one patient satisfaction issue in healthcare.
The Clockwise.MD product allows patients to reserve the next available spot on line from the web and skip the waiting room. It calculates expected wait time and sends reminders and updates via SMS, voice and email. It tracks and reports on lobby and exam room waits. It integrates with EMR for appointment-based practices and with facility websites for promoting awareness and adoption. The patient queue and time-to-be-seen is shown on a flat screen in the waiting room, similar to the flight status screen at the airport.
Online Sign In
It makes me wince when I see these outdated websites that are basically just static billboards that list services, locations, phone number and maybe some other info about a practice.
A practice website today should be informative, but also interactive and engaging. With Clockwise, when a patient arrives on your website, a link or button is prominently displayed on the homepage for them to “Skip the Wait” or “Get on Line Now”.
This takes them to the Clockwise page, where it can show a map of one or more of your locations and the current wait times, and even the drive time from their current location.
Once they pick the location, they fill in the next screen to hold their spot:
Then they get this confirmation message:
Arrival at the Center
When they arrive at your center, they’ll see an LCD display on the wall that shows their first name, last initial and their callback time.
They sign in on an iPad, other tablet or kiosk to indicate they have arrived:
Now here’s a really cool feature – let’s say a patient walks in and sees the wait is over an hour. Well instead of waiting, they can sign in, click the “I want to leave and come back” box and get a message to return 10 minutes before their reserved time:
Dashboards for Staff
At the front desk there is a great dashboard so the staff knows who’s checking in online or walk in and if they’ve arrived yet, and they can mark when they’re ready to be seen for the nurse/MA to see on their screen:
The nurse screen shows how long patients have been waiting vs. their actual time, and when the next patient is ready to come back:
On the way out of the office the patient is marked “discharged,” so now you have some valuable time stamps to assess overall wait times and throughput metrics.
Dashboards and Reports for Management
There are dozens of useful reports and patient lists available. If you have multiple centers from the admin side you’ll love this dashboard that shows real time updates of center activity and where your bottlenecks might be:
Patient Satisfaction and Follow Up
After the visit, every patient receives a text message to assess their satisfaction with the visit. It is based on the Net Promoter Score. Patients with a high score are sent a link to the review sites (Yelp, Vitals, Google+) and encouraged to leave a positive review, increasing your ratings on those sites. Real-time data on dissatisfied patients and basic issue tracking capabilities allow staff to address issues immediately.
Results: More new patients, happier patients
In one of their case studies Clockwise demonstrated a 50% conversion rate for web reservations, increasing online reservations by 200% over a 12 month period. They also found that more returning patients used the online reservation feature, and the center was able to smooth out peaks and valleys in the patient flow. This can help tremendously with staffing and actually reduce your highest expenses.
For instance, if you’re in that awkward growth stage where by late morning it gets too busy for one provider to keep up without prolonging wait times, two problems are created.
First you have a to hire a second provider. It’s not always easy to get someone to come in just for those 2-3 hours of “rush” time, so you have the expense of adding at least 4-6 hours of provider payroll per day.
Second, you find they are not fully utilized in the mid afternoon when flow tends to slow down. With Clockwise, you may be able to queue those late morning patients to come in later, smooth out that flow and keep it to the one provider.
Another option is to open up more “queue-able” slots when the second provider is on duty to fill their capacity more efficiently.
Other significant findings from this study:
- 68% of patients waited less than 10 minutes
- Wait time accuracy was predicted on average within less than a minute
- Average wait for a patient with a reservation = 5m 9s
- Average wait for a walk in = 10m 43s
- When asked how likely patients were to recommend the practice to others, they scored 9.5/10
- 90% of online patients said the reservation feature influenced their decision to choose this practice.
High Response Rates
At CEP America’s Samaritan Medical Care Center, Clockwise survey has generated a 40% response rate with 73% of patients replying within 2 hours of receiving the SMS-based survey.
Automated Patient Satisfaction
The robust reporting engine in Clockwise allows you to draw comparisons between patient satisfaction scores and wait times, exam room waits, and even the staff members who come in contact with patients throughout the different steps in your workflow. Here’s an example of an automated patient satisfaction report that is deployed to staff members on a daily basis.
Pricing is based on monthly volume, and comes with a return-on-investment guarantee: Clockwise will generate at least 4 times its monthly cost in patients new to the practice that come in through the online reservation channel. Price quotes are available upon request.
This service is very affordable, and the return on investment, as indicated above, is phenomenal.
Clockwise provides a great service for any healthcare workflow including ED, Urgent Care, Labs and Primary/Specialty Care.