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Tech & Tools

Waiting for a Doctor? Service Offers Tech-Savvy Alternative

Recently, the news has been full of stories about patients billing their doctors for the time they spend waiting for physicians who run late. Doctors, in turn, are offering wait-time discounts, gift cards, and even cash as an apology.

"Apologies and gifts are a wonderful gesture," says Vishal Mehta, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Fox Valley Orthopedic and the founder of MedWaitTime.com, a Web-based communication tool for hospitals, clinics, physicians, and their patients that is used to communicate wait-time information and appointment availability so patients and doctors can make the best use of their time. "But because my patients prefer to know in advance that I'm running late, I developed a solution that takes advantage of advances in technology. Patients can text, check a website or a smartphone app to determine whether or not I'm running on time. The MedWaitTime service enables patients to arrive later if I'm not."

Another benefit of MedWaitTime is that it takes the pressure off office staff who must shoulder the brunt of angry patient complaints. The service also provides free content and links to healthy educational and entertaining content, an alternative to the often tiresome, outdated, and dog-eared magazines supplied in some waiting rooms.

— Source: MedWaitTime.com