Find Out How the Right Queue Management System Can Transform Your Practice
No one likes queues. Being stuck in line for hours is a veritable nightmare, especially in hospital settings. But aside from customer dissatisfaction, a queue also racks up clinic costs. How? Well, think about all the time spent by sick infants, adults, and elderly waiting their turn at the doctor’s rather than contributing to billable hours.
The worst part is, customer patience grows shorter as the length of time spent in queues grows longer. Now, 25 percent of customers are willing to wait a maximum of two minutes, 59 percent not more than four minutes, and 73 percent up to five minutes. Negative queuing experiences also adversely affect the customers’ psyche.
So, a frictionless patient journey should be a priority for all medical practices. Otherwise, they may bleed patients and revenue over time. Minimizing queues through efficient management not only frees up patient time, but also ensures they use that free time to mutually benefit themselves and your hospital. So how do you deal with the problem? Well, in most cases, queues occur due to poor planning. To avoid missing out on the revenue opportunities denied by poor queuing, you must implement a queue management system.
What is a Queue Management System?
As the name suggests, a queue management system or QMS is a sophisticated piece of software for hospitals and clinics that organizes queues more efficiently. Instead of making customers wait, QMS manages patient wait times via real-time queue number displays, online appointment bookings, etc. The digitized system has gained popularity in the healthcare sector to facilitate patients with quality care while satisfying them with reduced time waste. Thanks to the technology, hospitals and clinics can manage their business properly and handle queues with ease.
How It Helps
Medical staff in standalone clinics and hospital chains must contend with tremendous stress on a regular basis. Administrators need to stay informed about staff, patients, and the general performance across various departments and wards to ensure everything runs smoothly. But this leaves with little time to control the increasing flow of patients. They can reduce their workload considerably and focus on key areas of the medical facility by installing the right queue management system.
Find out how QMS provides value below to practices below:
Improve the Productivity of Your Staff
An organized queue minimizes the frustration experienced by your staff members while enhancing the customer experience. A good QMS will have an easy-to-use dashboard that reduces guesswork and streamlines the process of managing queues within the premises. The system offers all relevant line metrics in a way that your staff can check the status of the line at a glance. This comes in handy, especially when there are multiple queues forming at the same time.
A queue management system is an effective way for employees to know who’s up next, when they expect to be served, and what their requirements are. Customer interaction is no longer rushed and your staff have advanced knowledge of what to prepare for so that patients are satisfied. QMS also ensures your staff spend less time waiting around to be assigned the next set of tasks. As a result, staff productivity surges with fewer dips in the workload.
Minimize Negative View of Wait Times
Customers not required to wait in line physically are free to use the wait time according to their discretion. You can program the QMS to send out proactive alerts and notifications, keeping patients up-to-date as they near the front of the line. This is a welcome change of pace from waiting in line for hours and becoming dissatisfied with your practice.
The truth is, patients will overestimate the time spent in line by nearly 36 percent. So, it becomes irrelevant whether you actually provided fast service or not. What matters then is how patients perceive the wait period. Queue management technology provides people with a positive experience by removing the claustrophobic feeling of being stuck in a crowded line with others. By enabling customers to book their slot and check their queue position via a combination of PMS and QMS, you can minimize the feeling of having wasted their time by simply standing around.
Reduce the Number of Walkaways
Your customers will get discouraged right off the bat if they walk into the OPD and find a long line of people. Modern consumers value convenience above all else thanks to the popularity of mobile apps and online services. So, they will not think twice about walking away from a long queue and visiting another hospital or clinic that offers more efficient queues.
Your practice should adapt to the needs of customers by providing a frictionless, convenient experience. For this purpose, choose a QMS that diffuses the urge patients have to walk away from a long queue. By allowing your patients to check in virtually, tracking their progress, and notifying them to return to the waiting area when their turn is close, you make it easier for patients to interact on their terms instead of yours.
Walkaways take a big chunk out of your revenue. So, optimizing the in-clinic experience is a welcome change - one that keeps customers engaged and prevents the loss of profits due to frustration.
Streamline Your Operations
While reducing staff downtime is necessary, the advantages of better queue management are felt across different areas of your organization. Equip your staff with tablets and smartphones and see them use patient data effectively. The same applies to queue management. With QMS, staff members and administrators can view wait times, arrange patient queues, check staff availability, and get necessary patient details to personalize every interaction.
Queue data is also useful for knowing more about inefficient consultation types, peak times, poorly performing staff members. The information is directly actionable, but cannot be accessed without a queue system. A good QMS comes with powerful reporting modules that provide insight into metrics like customer feedback, average bookings over a particular timeframe, and top customers. Moreover, integrations ensure your records get updated across your PMS in real time. This means the hospital staff notes can be recorded once and then populated in the system.
The whole process has a marked impact on your overall practice. Whether it’s segmenting email promotions based on top customers, reduced staff hours during low-volume times, or generating appointments, queue data comes in handy for understanding the performance of your organization and making adjustments accordingly.
The right queue management system can transform your practice into a successful one that keeps customers coming back. The right QMS lets people wait on their terms and draws patients back to your clinic. As part of a greater strategy to enhance the customer experience in physical locations, better queuing is a deciding factor for patients who would otherwise skip the hassle.