The average waiting time at the doctor’s office is 23 minutes, according to a Press Ganey survey. American’s spend more time waiting at the doctor’s office then they do at the DMV!
What are your options if your doctor’s office is running late?
- If you don’t truly have to be seen that day and have other pressing issues, tell the front desk you need to re-schedule, and leave. While this is an inconvenience, if you have other pressing matters it may be the right choice.
- Take other activities to do while you wait, if you do not want to re-schedule. Unfortunately most doctors are now expected to see 30-40 patients a day, and sometimes visits do run long, or there may be an emergency. While frustrating, it may save you another trip to wait it out.
- It may be helpful to schedule the first appointment of the day, or the first appointment after lunch, as those times make it more likely to be seen on time.
- Call ahead before you go to find out if the office is running late, and if they are, ask if you can re-schedule, or come in later.
- See if you have a telemedicine option. Some insurance plans provide telemedicine care, so you can have a video or phone call in from your phone or computer for minor complaints such as pink eye, respiratory infections, or bladder infections. The telemedicine provider can prescribe medication to your local pharmacy.
- Be on time yourself and take all pertinent information with you so that your own appointment is not delayed. Bring your insurance information, a list of your prescriptions, and any medical record information you have that may be related to your visit.
What if you just went to the Emergency Department, would that be faster? The average wait at the E.D. unfortunately is 30 minutes to get in and 90 minutes for treatment time, which is much longer than an office visit. The average cost of a doctor’s visit is $200, and the average cost of an E.D. visit is $2000.