It’s About Time. How to Transform the Medical Waiting Room

The best way to improve the patient experience is to address the root cause - the wait time itself.

When the Wall Street Journal covers a core problem your business was designed to solve, you take note. A recently published article, ‘How Covid-19 is Helping to Change the Doctor’s Waiting Room,’ certainly captured our attention here at DOCPACE.

It’s an interesting look at how providers are striving to make wait times for medical appointments more enjoyable. Some practices are bringing interior design to bear. San Antonio’s TSAOG Orthopaedics, for example, mimics the lobby of a luxury hotel. Other providers hope to entertain. A Mayo Clinic expansion in Phoenix will soon feature an app to recommend on-campus eateries and seminars, while retail-based healthcare providers are encouraging patients to spend extra time shopping.



Any recommendations for improving the patient experience are welcome, but this article might leave most practices feeling left out. What if you’re not getting new digs or can’t deal with an expensive redesign? What if you’re located far from Main Street stores and restaurants and have no intention of setting up shop, literally, in your waiting room? Can your practice still attract and retain patients in today’s environment?

The short answer, absolutely! The best way to address patients’ frustration with the waiting room is to address the root cause—the wait itself. 

Although a practice may try to distract patients from appointment delays with family-friendly cubbies to hang out in or directions to the nearest boutique, what patients really want is not to wait in the first place. Most people would prefer to access care with less disruption to their lives. 

Slashing wait times is a central mission at DOCPACE. Our scheduling optimization solution empowers practices to achieve maximum efficient capacity without double- and triple-booking appointments. Rather than routinely assign the same block of time for each case type, DOCPACE takes patient-specific needs and historical data into account and adjusts appointment duration accordingly. The result is greater scheduling accuracy, higher revenues, and fewer appointment delays.

The patient-facing portal is an important feature, giving patients more freedom. As the day unfolds, DOCPACE automatically revises appointment timing estimates and patients can check to see if there are any delays. If so, they can go about their business—whether at work or in the backyard with the kids—and time their arrival perfectly for a minimum wait.

Over and over again, we’ve witnessed the impact such a simple change can have. When a practice demonstrates respect for patients’ valuable time, significant improvements in satisfaction ratings ensue and word spreads quickly, especially online. It’s a profound upgrade to the patient experience that few redecorating projects can hope to deliver.

Want more information about how DOCPACE can transform your patients’ waiting room experience and deliver additional benefits to office staff, practitioners, and payers (yep, there’s a lot more to DOCPACE)? Simply visit our website at to schedule a conversation and live demo. 

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