Timeliness in ambulatory care treatment. An examination of patient satisfaction and wait times in medical practices and outpatient test and treatment facilities.J Ambul Care Manage 2003 Apr-Jun; 26(2):138-49JA
Timeliness, one of the Institute of Medicine's six aims for improving the quality of health care, is an important yet understudied aspect of health care. It has been well documented as a factor influencing satisfaction in many other service industries but not as frequently in health care, especially outside of the emergency department. This article examines current trends with wait times and their effect on overall satisfaction with care in physician's offices and outpatient test and treatment facilities offering both analysis of the current situation and recommendations for improvement in the future.