7 Strategies to wait less at the doctor’s office

                On Monday I gave a brief overview of why you wait in the doctor’s office.  Today let’s be practical.  Here are 7 strategies to lessen your wait time:

  • Schedule the first appointment of the day or the first after lunch.   Pretty simple.  In the morning there’s no appointment ahead of you to run over.  And after lunch gives the doctor and staff time to catch up from the morning.
  • If you have an afternoon appointment, call ahead.   An hour or so before you’re due, call the office and ask if their running on schedule.  If they’re running late, ask when you should show or if you can reschedule.
  • Arrive early.  Give yourself time to fill out any necessary paperwork and if the office is running ahead of schedule, get in early.  Are you chronically late?  Well, then you’ll probably be chronically waiting.
  • Ask about the office’s scheduling policies.  Find out how they allocate their time for appointments, how they handle same day appointments, when is the best time to schedule an appointment, etc.  Just ask what you need to do to help ensure the best chance appointment times are kept.  Believe me, they’ll tell you.  They may even do back flips just cause you asked.
  • Consider rescheduling.  If your issue isn’t urgent and you’ve been waiting too long, ask to reschedule.  Typically, they’ll give rescheduled appointments priority times.
  • Change doctors.  Some doctor’s offices run better than others.  Sometimes it’s the office staff’s fault, sometimes the doctor just habitually runs long.  If they are ALWAYS late and you’ve asked how you can help and nothing changes, consider switching doctors.  Really like the doctor?  Well, not having to wait isn’t everything.
  • Get a Smart Phone.   Seriously, all those apps and games?  I can wait at least 3 hours.  Ever play Angry Birds?  

 

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