19 Oct The Doctor Will See You Eventually
The Wall Street Journal | October 18 – Of all the problems with the U.S. health-care system, one of the most vexing for patients is simply sitting in the doctor’s waiting room. Being ushered into the exam room, only to be left shivering in a paper gown, to wait some more, adds to the aggravation. It’s the health-care equivalent of being stuck on the tarmac in a crowded plane.
The average time patients spend waiting to see a health-care provider is 22 minutes, and some waits stretch for hours, according to a 2009 report by Press Ganey Associates, a health-care consulting firm, which surveyed 2.4 million patients at more than 10,000 locations. Orthopedists have the longest waits, at 29 minutes; dermatologists the shortest, at 20. The report also noted that patient satisfaction dropped significantly with each five minutes of waiting time.
Physicians rightly bristle that they aren’t serving french fries. Patients are different, and their needs are unpredictable. What’s more, doctors say that fee-for-service medicine with low reimbursement rates forces them to keep packing more patients into each day, compounding the opportunity for delays.
Read more on WSJ.com.