Patient Waiting Time In Hospital

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As healthcare industry is growing rapidly, the principal of Patient Centricity has gained much importance. Apart from the clinical services provided to the patients it also deals with the other non-clinical aspects that effects the patient’s satisfaction. Patient Waiting time in hospital is a major issue of concern these days and it is now the aim of every hospital to reduce this time. Among all of the times where a patient has to wait in hospital, the most important is Outpatient waiting time since the first interaction of patient with the hospital takes place here, so it impact a lot on the reputation of the hospital. OPD is also known as “Shop Window” of the hospital.
Study period- September 14 to 18 September
Study area-
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When the patients turn arrives it visits the doctor. The doctor examines the patient if prescribed a test visits the examination department (ECG, X-ray etc) or goes to the pharmacy stands in the queue to wait for his turn and then exits the hospital after taking his medicines. The time taken at each and every step is noted with the help of stop watch from entry to the exit.
The data collection was done by following a patient from the time of entry to the hospital till the time it exit the hospital. Though this method is very intense but helps to study functional accuracy of the hospital.
The population studied consisted of 300 patient of which gender distribution was 124 males and 176 females. Major part of the sample were taken from people comprising of age group 24-35 years.
The average time a patient spend in the hospital in OPD services was around 55±10mins. This shows the quality services of the hospital. But it is very difficult to know if the result is appropriate or not as the there are many factor influencing like the location, population size of patients as well as physicians. So it becomes very difficult to generalise any appropriate time for any hospital especially for OPD
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Time spent in sample collection was 5±4 minutes while time spent in waiting for the turn was 20±10 minutes. This again shows the ineffective time and resource management.


• Proper signage should be provided to reduce patient time in searching the department in case of a first time visitor.
• Instructions should be written in local languages as well.
• Drinking water facility and Wash rooms should be provided in the patient waiting area.
• In peak hours or in peak months of the year number of registration counters can be increased, number of OPD Chambers can also be increased on the basis of availability of Physicians.
• Number of counters in Pharmacy shops should be always more as it has been observed that maximum time is required at this counter.
• Television monitor and Reading material can be provided in the waiting area. These can also be used in patients’ Health education.
It has been observed that the time required in Registration Counter can be reduced by effective management and proper resource
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