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Patients often complain about long waits in waiting and exam rooms. Are you worth the wait?

Posted by Tom Cockley | Posted on May 14, 2013

Patients may really like you as an eye care doctor.  But how long will they “wait” when they become unhappy with your practice? 

Recently I went to my dentist.  I hardly opened a magazine before I was taken into the exam room.  My appointment was scheduled for 10:00 in the morning; I was taken at 10:00 and left at 10:30.  How can dentists manage their time so well, yet most eye care doctors have a difficult time?

Many patients lose patience with long waits in the waiting room or exam room.  One friend calls it the too-long-waiting room.  He told me that at a recent visit he almost completed reading a National Geographic magazine while in the too-long-waiting room, then sat in the exam room for 10 minutes, then waited in the eye drop waiting area for another 10-15 minutes, and was then finally seen by the doctor.  Total time in the office:  1½ hours.  Total time seen by the doctor, 12 minutes.  He figured he could easily spend half that time to find another doctor!

Medical practices that keep patients waiting are at risk.

Press Ganey Associates, medical practice consultants (, whose mission is to support health care providers in understanding and improving patient experiences, published a White Paper entitled “Keeping Me Waiting – Medical Practice Wait Times and Patient Satisfaction.”  The White Paper contends that making patients feel better, both physically and emotionally, is important to serving patients.  They state that, “Waiting to see a physician is a huge dissatisfier that increases patient anxiety and is frequently cited as a reason why patients leave a practice. Improving actual wait times … can result in increased patient satisfaction and improved bottom lines.” They point out that “Today’s medical patients have a wide range of provider options. To remain competitive, traditional medical practices are changing the way they operate and making visits more patient-centered.”

Most eye care professionals do care about their patients’ well being.

In defense of health care providers, most want to spend as much time as needed with a patient to help identify and solve problems, answer questions, and provide information and solutions.  Sometimes this can take longer than expected, and make other patients wait well beyond their appointment time.  And sometimes testing and providing patient information takes longer than it should.  Wouldn’t it be great to have some tools that help you be more patient-centered, responsive, and efficient as well?

We offer Gulden tools that help you save time and become more efficient.

We are pleased to offer many tools that eye care professionals and their staffs use to save time and become more efficient.  And, in many cases, these tools can help deliver better patient care as well.  Simply click on the product name for detailed information.

Eye Models – help to expeditiously show and explain in 3D a wide range of eye conditions and procedures.

Gulden Retinoscopy Racks — provide a rapid way to arrive at a patient’s objective refraction prescription, saving time.

Two-Sided Illuminated Near Cards – rapid screening and diagnostic tools for near vision testing including maculopathy.

Dovie CPT Exam Coding Pocket Guide – helps you accurately and swiftly code exams.

MG Lid Plate Expressors – efficiently exposes and holds eyelids for many types of exams and procedures including meibomian gland expression.

Eye Drop Bottle Trays, Caddies, and Organizers  – helps keep your exam room organized and efficient.

Polarized Trial Lenses – use the trial frame already worn by the patient to measure stereo vision acuity.

Magnetized Spuds, Dix and Ellis Styles – help to swiftly remove foreign particles from eyes, minimizing procedure time and patient discomfort.

Gulden Dual Luedde Exophthalmometer  –  the easiest, fastest, and least expensive method for measuring exophthalmos.

EyeView Visualizing Scope – helps patients swiftly and easily observe and understand eye opacities.

Contact Lens Check and Keratometer Calibrator — produces fast, accurate, reproducible checks for warpage or changes to the base curve as accurately as a radiuscope –  yet quicker.

Plus many more …

By reducing excess and in some cases unneeded time with patients the backup in the waiting room and areas can often be eliminated.

Tell me what you think.

Be visionary with Gulden!

Tom Cockley is president of Gulden Ophthalmics and is the third generation of the nearly 75-year-old visionary company that brings innovative, time-saving, utilitarian products to vision and health care professionals.

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