In a fast-paced world of convenience, do you ever think about how long we as patients wait to receive healthcare? Have you ever been highly frustrated waiting for an appointment, to be seen, to speak with a doctor, or to know the next steps?
Longer Wait Times Impact on Patients
Long patient wait times can be frustrating and inconvenient. Not only that, but they can also have severe consequences for patients:
1. Injury & Illness Progression: Early intervention is crucial; longer wait times can delay diagnosis and treatment, worsening injuries and illnesses.
2. Physical & Emotional Stress: Longer wait times can increase stress and worsen health conditions, both physically and mentally.
3. Economic Impact: Higher healthcare costs, especially if alternative or higher care is needed.
4. Quality of Life: Patients experiencing pain and discomfort due to time delays and juggling appointments and treatments may experience a diminished quality of life.
5. Relationship Impact: Families and caregivers of patients are also impacted. Being responsible for caring for someone in need can be emotionally draining and burdening.
6. Patient Doubt: Patients can lose faith in the healthcare system, leading to delayed healthcare-seeking behavior or avoidance of necessary medical care altogether.
7. Healthcare Provider Stress: Longer wait times are stressful for patients and healthcare professionals. If healthcare systems are overworked, doctors and nurses can suffer burnout, affecting the quality of care they provide.
8. Protecting Public Health: Longer wait times for testing and treatment can hinder efforts to contain outbreaks and protect public health from contagious diseases.
Studies have shown that higher patient satisfaction can be linked to decreased mortality, lower readmission rates, better adherence to treatment, and lower healthcare costs. One study found that longer waiting times are associated with worse patient experiences. See below for the average emergency department wait times:
Average Emergency Department (ED) Wait Times
- 31 minutes – ED Door to First Provider
- 55 minutes – ED Door to Doctor
- 350 minutes – ED Total Time
Employee Consequences for Long Wait Times
Longer healthcare wait times can have several significant impacts on employees, affecting both their work and personal lives:
1. Reduced Productivity: Employees who are dealing with healthcare issues and facing extended wait times may experience reduced productivity at work and become disengaged with their work.
2. Increased Absenteeism: Longer wait times can lead to more frequent medical appointments and the need for sick leave., disrupting work schedules.
3. Financial Impact: Employees may face financial stress due to lost wages and healthcare costs, especially if they need to seek alternative care options for treatment.
4. Reduced Job Satisfaction: Employees who feel that their healthcare benefits are insufficient or that the company does not prioritize employee health may experience decreased job satisfaction, leading to higher turnover rates.
5. Work-Life Balance: Balancing medical appointments, treatments, and work responsibilities can be challenging, leading to burnout, decreased job satisfaction, and a disrupted work-life balance.
6. Impact on Team Dynamics: Healthcare wait times can affect the whole team, adding tension if coworkers must cover for absent colleagues or deal with unpredictable work schedules.
Axiom Medical provides 24/7 access to medically trained and licensed professionals, quick access to first aid, and early diagnosis of a medical condition. See how our numbers compare to emergency department wait times:
Average Axiom Medical Wait Times
- 2 minutes – Time to Call Answered
- 10 minutes – Total Inbound Call Center Time
- 11 minutes – Time to Nurse Case Manager
- 19.5 minutes – Total Time with Nurse Case Manager
Most injuries do not require formal medical attention, and we manage over 70% of cases in-house at the first aid level. Suppose the injury or illness is an emergency. In that case, Axiom Medical can help until emergency services arrive and suggest recommendations when appropriate.
The right care, at the right time, for the right outcome, that’s the Axiom Medical difference. Ready to connect with our team? Contact us today so we can help provide quality care and improve patient, employee satisfaction.
Charli Pedersen works for Axiom Medical as their Content Marketing Specialist. She has her bachelor’s degree in English, Professional and Technical Writing and previous experience with creating content for businesses and non-profit organizations.