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What Are Patients Doing While They Wait?

If you had to guess what most patients do while they’re waiting to see their healthcare provider, what would you say?

Are they…Watching a screen in the waiting room? Interacting with a touchscreen in the exam room? Scrolling social media on their smartphone?

Fortunately, you don’t have to guess: Our new white paper takes an in-depth look at what we’ve discovered about patient behaviors while they wait—and the results may surprise you.

As the industry leader in patient engagement technology, we routinely conduct surveys, focus groups, and other research to ensure we’re meeting the needs of patients at every touchpoint. This latest white paper synthesizes insights we’ve collected over the last few years from patients visiting a healthcare provider with one or more of our patient engagement solutions about how long they’re waiting and what they’re doing while they wait.

Here’s a sneak peek at what we found:

They’re not just looking at their phones.

Despite the perception that patients are always staring at their phones, we found that fewer than half of patients are on their mobile devices in the waiting room. They’re not reading those months-old magazines, either. Most spend part of their time learning about their health from a patient education screen.

An illustration of people sitting in a waiting room reading a screen.

Source: Surveys of more than 2,000 patients who visited physician offices installed with PatientPoint® Educate™, PatientPoint® Communicate™, and/or PatientPoint® Interact™ programs.

They’re interacting with—and trust—exam room tech (HCPs, too!)

And what about the exam room? If there’s an interactive touchscreen, most patients use it while they wait—and they find the information useful and trustworthy. And we found that doctors use touchscreens, too, to teach patients about their condition and inform them about treatment options.

They want to learn.

The data show that patients are interested in learning about health conditions and treatment options while waiting for their provider. Not only do patients trust the health information they see at the point of care—and the brand messaging that accompanies it—but they also feel it improves their healthcare experience.

For a closer look at these findings and more, download In-office Wait Times: Patients’ Attitudes and Behaviors Across the Visit.Chart explaining what patients are doing while they wait for a physician.