Gwinnett Pulmonary & Sleep + DOCPACE: How one practice boosted on-time arrivals and patient satisfaction while reducing no-shows
At a Glance
Six physicians are in one office on a typical day, and many of them run behind. We would get repeated complaints about the wait time, but the most significant issue was the lack of communication about the wait time. DOCPACE gives the patient real-time information about their estimated wait time.
Unpredictable wait times lead to patient dissatisfaction and provider burnout.
Do you know what’s really going on with your daily practice schedule? When things don't go according to plan, do you know why? How much information do you have about delays and lost appointment times? Are you confident you're allotting adequate time for each appointment and instructing patients on the best time to arrive for visits?
Information is power. When it comes to your schedule, just one error can derail your day, leading to a chaotic stream of patient visits, not to mention staff and provider burnout.
So, what can be done?
You must prioritize punctual patient arrivals. The no. 1 factor that impacts schedule management is patient arrival time—yet, in an analysis of more than 45 organizations and 1,600 providers across 18 specialties, only 54% of patients actually arrive on time for visits.
That means only half of your patients are showing up on time. The other 46% are either arriving far too early (and often being seen out of the scheduled order, causing later appointments to be delayed) or arriving too late (again, causing delays).
Not knowing when patients should arrive causes stress, leads to dissatisfied patients, and hurts the provider's bottom line.
Gwinnett Pulmonary & Sleep is the largest pulmonary group in Gwinnett County, Ga. As a specialty physician group that sees high volumes of patients daily, patient satisfaction is a top priority.
“We are a hectic pulmonary practice,” said Jennifer Thomas-Roloff, practice administrator at Gwinnett Pulmonary & Sleep. “Six physicians are in one office on a typical day, and many of them run behind. We would get repeated complaints about the wait time, but the most significant issue was the lack of communication about the wait time. DOCPACE gives the patient real-time information about their estimated wait time.”
DOCPACE uses predictive AI and automation to fine-tune scheduling in real time.
The makers of DOCPACE understand how much work goes into scheduling patient visits. That’s why they believe a single no-show patient or late patient arrival shouldn’t ruin your entire day. DOCPACE’s automated tools enable you to keep your schedule up-to-date and on track, no matter what curveballs come your way.
A fully automated and seamless plug-in solution, DOCPACE integrates with your existing athenahealth platform and powers your current day using previous patient visit data and real-time updates. That means that whether appointments end early, late, or on time, you're always up-to-date with the latest information—and your patients are in the loop.
“DOCPACE runs in the background and does not affect our workflow," Thomas-Roloff added. "It allows the staff to give a clear estimate of wait times.”
When the day is running on schedule, DOCPACE helps ensure patients arrive on time, and when there are delays, DOCPACE automatically adjusts and informs patients.
Two hours before scheduled appointments, DOCPACE sends an automated text message providing patients with an updated, more accurate arrival time. This significantly reduces wait time for both the patient and the provider, who can actually see more patients as a result.
Through optimized data analytics, DOCPACE produces actionable insights that enable staff and providers to focus on providing exceptional care while ensuring patients feel valued.
Higher patient satisfaction and more on-time visits.
Since implementing DOCPACE, Thomas-Roloff reported: “Patients love the virtual waiting room, and our patient satisfaction has increased.”
DOCPACE’s smart SMS communication boosts not only patient satisfaction, but also daily completion rates. Across all practices leveraging DOCPACE’s AI and automation tools, patients who opt out of text messages have a 73% completion rate, while those receiving texts are at 82%. And at Gwinnett Pulmonary & Sleep, that number is up to an 88% daily completion rate with a no-show rate of just 3.6%.
DOCPACE also provides reports highlighting month-over-month changes in patient cycle times. These reports can be analyzed based on practice, department, provider, or appointment type.
“We never really had a visualization of our patient cycle times before adopting DOCPACE,” Thomas-Roloff said. “The reporting gives us actionable data to try and improve our patient experience.”
Being able to make sense of your patient cycle times is a game changer in identifying what’s working—and what’s not working—with your schedule management. Stop playing the guessing game, and let DOCPACE do the discovering for you.