Morristown, NJ – The word “PATIENT” comes from the Latin word patiens, meaning ‘I am suffering.’ The word “PATIENCE” is the quality of being patient, defined as an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay… say, for instance, in a waiting room. The waiting room itself can be cause for suffering.
In our 2015 Trend Reports, we highlighted a consumer trend that we call restless impatience. We have become a species of instant gratification and constant motion, never leaving a single moment wasted. As I sit here in the waiting room and admire the wonderful choice of wallpaper, I started to look outside of healthcare to see how other brands have waged war on our inability to wait.
Your Table Is Waiting
The first that comes to mind is waiting for a table in a restaurant. That’s the worst. It seems like everyone else is hungry the same time you are (7:00 on a Friday night). Open Table’s reservation app meets this need and allows you to check out your local dining scene and minimize your wait time with a click of your smartphone.
Waiting for a taxi can also be daunting. Not only are you waiting for your ride, you are usually exposed to the elements. A little extra wait time goes along way to increase your frustration levels. Uber doesn’t allow you to make reservations in advance, but at least it gives some transparency into how long it will be until your driver arrives, giving you a chance to grab a Starbucks if you see that you have a few minutes. Remember, our restless impatience tells us that we need to fill every moment and what better way to do that than with a triple shot espresso.
Check Me In
For my next example, I am going to be honest—I don’t go to a fancy salon to get my haircut. I prefer a quick visit for under $15 and I can be on my way. Not long ago, Great Clips introduced a “Check-in” feature for their app. I can search for the nearest location on my phone, choose the one with the least amount of wait time, and check-in to move to the top of the list. When I walk in, they are usually ready for me and I can be in and out in under 10 minutes.
Now, back to my own experience in the exam waiting room… I am finished completing the 20 forms that are needed, they have my insurance information, and I’m stuck here reading a People Magazine which I don’t really care about. We have the ability to improve the experience and meet our patients needs. By understanding the trends that are driving our everyday decisions, we can meet those expectations as they are happening.
App To Watch
The MyTime app just announced additional Series B funding to build out their already well-adopted scheduling app. While its focus is on a broader consumer market, the company has taken interest to some medical and dental professionals.