02050: Clinic Waiting Cycles

So we lost a better part of the morning and part of the afternoon waiting around The Medical City at Gateway. Tobie has been dealing with a lingering cough for more than a week now and we figured it prudent to finally get it checked out formally. But it was frustrating how much time we ended up just...waiting. To be fair, Tobie's case wasn't exactly life-threatening and this branch of The Medical City isn't a facility with Emergency Room capabilities or anything like that. Despite that, the amount of time we ended up waiting around for a doctor to become available to see Tobie was just crazy.

As much as healthcare is still a business, you'd think that they'd have better processes to ensure sufficient care for their patient customers. We're still at the mercies of when doctors choose to hold clinics and yet no obligation by the administrator to ensure a generalist is on duty at all times or something. You have little to no information on how long you might be expected to wait before someone is free to see you and the staff don't really seem to care about how long patients are made to wait.

If we really wanted to run healthcare facilities like a business, then you'd think that they'd also be trying to compete for customers. Thus it becomes important to differentiate oneself by providing better customer service or something. More efficient patient processing time would mean greater patient capacity per day, thus greater potential revenue. And let's face it, shorter queue times will make for happier patients more than any other change that a facility of this nature could implement.

But instead we get by with what we have and I've yet to see a desire for folks to do that much better. Everyone hospital or clinic makes you wait. Instead of better processes, they invest in more chairs that seem to be designed to be as uncomfortable as possible. Why treat customers well when they'll still pay in the end, right?