Improving the experience of visiting the doctor

(and saving the government a little bit of money too)

How often have you battled to get an appointment with the doctor, taken time out of work, only to arrive and then sit in the doctors surgery for 45 minutes because they are running late (which they always are).

A simple text message sent to every patient booked in – say – 1 hour before their appointment – indicating ‘how’ late the surgery is running could not only mean much quieter waiting rooms, but also a much more positive (and less frustrating) experience for the individual, not to mention the millions of pounds which the economy would gain in productivity.

A clear example of where a little experience design could not only benefit the user, but also other users, the service operator and the country as a whole.

1 Comment

Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Jay B
January 2, 2009 at January 2, 2009

Just been to the doctors eh? Sounds like a good idea in theory.

My Girlfriend Kate works as an audiologist (performing hearing tests and fitting hearing aids), her appointments regularly overrun, different patients have different needs and you can’t turn around to someone in need and tell them ‘That’s it, your time is up you will have to leave’. Combined with increasingly tighter (Government imposed) deadlines, it can be very difficult for our medical personnel to keep to their appointed times. Kate often runs through her lunch break to catch up, and rarely has time to even get herself a drink. So I would appeal to your readers who have been inconvenienced for half an hour or so to spare a thought for the medical professional who has just missed their lunch to make sure someone like your granny can get the most from their hearing aid or medicine.

However I don’t like waiting in those places as much as anyone and I would appreciate something like what you propose. I imagine the doctors etc would rather see happier patients too.