Are Waiting Rooms Passé? A Pilot Study of Patient Self-rooming

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Abstract

Timeliness of care after patients arrive at the primary care office has received little examination. At 2 community family medicine clinics, an intervention was piloted replacing traditional waits in the waiting room with patients directing themselves to their examination rooms. We examined patient acceptability, experience of care, and staff time and cost savings before and after the intervention. Most patients (95%) preferred rooming themselves. Patient satisfaction remained high. Staff time and cost savings were achieved at both sites. Our findings suggest that self-rooming is desirable to patients. Others interested in redirecting staff time toward value-added patient care tasks should consider trialing this intervention.

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