MAY 21, 2019
Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Glaucoma
In this study, researchers analyzed patient wait times during visits to a glaucoma clinic and identified opportunities for additional patient engagement.
This prospective observational study included data from 77 patient visits to an academic glaucoma practice. The authors measured appointment visit times and divided these visits into value and nonvalue (i.e., wait time) segments. The authors noted the number of wait times lasting at least 10 minutes for new versus returning patients.
The average total time spent in the clinic was 187 minutes for new patients and 102 minutes for returning patients. The average wait time for new visits was 63.7 minutes, compared with 52.6 minutes for return visits. All new patients and 87.5% of return patients had at least 1 wait time of 10 minutes or longer during their clinic visit.
This study was performed at an academic center. The findings may differ based on practice setting.
Wait times of at least 10 minutes may be ideal opportunities to deliver patient glaucoma education, as suggested by the investigators. The cost of adding dedicated staff may be worthwhile, given the benefits of improving patient satisfaction and adherence to glaucoma therapies.