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ED waiting times provide a clear indication of hospital’s performance and the quality of patient care. Waiting time is one of the first things a patient notices after arriving at your hospital. It is one of the first reasons why patients feel either happy or unsatisfied with a hospital. On top of that, it is clear that untimely hospital deaths and morbidity can be reduced by reductions in ED waiting times.

Waiting Times vs Patient Satisfaction

A study performed in 2 family practice clinics found that the majority of patients who waited less than 10 minutes gave an excellent or good rating, while only a minority gave this rating after waiting longer than 20 minutes. (Howard M, Agarwal G, Hilts L. Patient satisfaction with access in two interprofessional academic family medicine clinics. Fam Pract. 2009)

Keeping waiting times low is a priority not solely to improve patient satisfaction and general perception of a hospital but also to decrease the length of stay and improve the safety of patients.

A study where 11,000 patients were questioned, found out that:

The clinical ambulatory patient experience is heavily influenced by time spent waiting for provider care.

On the graph below you can see the obvious relationship between patient waiting times and average satisfaction scores.

Waiting times vs Patient Satisfaction

Source: Clifford Bleustein, MD, MBA, Wait Times, Patient Satisfaction Scores, and the Perception of Care 2014, http://www.ajmc.com/journals/issue/2014/2014-vol20-n5/wait-times-patient-satisfaction-scores-and-the-perception-of-care/P-1#sthash.uzXDfwPS.dpuf  The study has been done questioning approx. 11,000 patients.

 

Spreadsheet system for tracking waiting times doesn’t work

paperwork

The first step in improving waiting times is monitoring them. Paying a personnel to do it using a spreadsheet system is not sufficient on so many levels:

  • you need to pay somebody to be there,
  • the data is not accurate,
  • it is time limited to a few days or weeks,
  • it is hard to benchmark with other departments etc.

On top of that, it may even occur, that the waiting times are actually better while there’s a person monitoring it because nurses will notice it and they will try harder while this person is there, so you don’t even get to know the real waiting times this way.

On this website, you can display the average waiting times in ED in US, by state and by a hospital.

Patients wear small bracelets which monitor their location and waiting times

Tracking waiting times with the latest technology for monitoring patient flow is easy.

Location tracking RTLS bracelet

Patients wear small bracelets which monitor their location and waiting times.

Patients wear bracelets, which track their location accurately in real-time (you can even display patients and equipment on a live map). They get bracelets at the reception desk as the first thing when arriving at a hospital. Now, Locatible Location Tracking takes over.

Monitor waiting times automatically per each patient in any given moment

Locatible starts counting the waiting time from the moment a patient enters an Emergency Department. Patients waiting are displayed on a screen and nurses can see how long they have been waiting, acuity of their condition and they even get alerted when a patient waits too long.

Get the most of the data related to waiting times

Hospital managers can then monitor all data related to waiting times:

  • What is the average waiting time right now?
  • What was the waiting time for a specific patient?
  • How high were waiting times yesterday, last week or last year?
  • Are we improving? Are waiting times getting better than before?
  • Managers can set up waiting time limit. If a patient waits longer than the limit, nurses get alerted immediately.
  • Benchmark different wards, different facilities.
  • Compare waiting times with other data to find out how to improve.

Real-time monitoring is the first step in improving your waiting times

Locatible RTLS brochure

Download this brochure with more details about Locatible Location Tracking for Hospitals to find out how to improve your waiting times, patient flow using the latest RTLS, location tracking for hospitals.

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