According to patients, the most important factor in determining their satisfaction with an eye care practice is how long they have to wait for their exam. It somehow weighs more heavily than the thoroughness of the doctor’s exam, the care demonstrated by the staff, or the quality of the eyewear you sell. This tells us two things: first, life isn’t fair; and second, keeping wait times short is extremely important.
A Jobson Research survey shows that about two-thirds of patients think that a wait time of no more than 15 minutes is appropriate to see an Optometrist. The good news is that of all medical professions, Optometry has the shortest wait times – about 17 minutes on average. On the downside, patients don’t expect to wait as long for an eye doctor as they do for other types of doctors.
Every office tries to schedule appointments such that the exam chairs will always be full, but patients don’t have to wait long. But it’s not an exact science, and inevitably there will be delays. Patients who arrive early are content to wait until their scheduled appointment times, but once that time passes, they become increasingly impatient (there’s actually a name for this: appointment syndrome.) Here are a few of ways you can make long waits more tolerable.