We should say upfront that we are anti-waitlists. When our founder, Patrick Randolph started QueueDr, he created an electronic waitlist product where schedulers would add patients to a waitlist and click a button to text them when the office had an opening. His very first customer was a dental office in San Francisco. In their first month with QueueDr, they filled 24 of 25 cancellations for a fill rate of 96%.
With this information in his backpack, Patrick was able to sign up dozens of other offices in this building who needed the product. Many had phenomenal first months with QueueDr and Patrick had dreams of grandeur. But just a quick, nearly all of them stopped using the product after the first month.
- Did the product work?
- Yes, it filled a much higher percentage of cancellations than staff did. It did not fail nor create scheduling issues.
- Did the product save staff time?
- Yes, after the initial 10 seconds of adding patients to the waitlist, everyone reported hours in weekly time savings due to a reduction in staff phone calls.
- Was it cost prohibitive?
- No, it was less than 5% of the revenue brought in
Then what the *#$% was it?
The Human Component.
Time after time, we found that after the initial honeymoon phase of “new technology” lapsed, most offices gradually stopped adding patients to the waitlist. We found that requiring staff to add patients to a waitlist was enough friction to prevent people from using the product. From that point forward, QueueDr fully automated and requires no human component.
A word on incentives
This journey led us to a realization. While schedulers absolutely care about patient access, there is a strong disincentive for schedulers to use waitlists (even ones that are easy to use). The work required to manage the waitlist does not correlate to their performance metrics and often gets ignored. First, they must add patients to a waitlist. Second, when an appointment opens,, they now have to call those patients. The more patients they’ve added to the waitlist, the more calls schedulers have to make. There is a work disincentive to use the waitlist.
From that point forward, we realized that if we want our product to help healthcare organizations, we couldn’t rely on staff. We rebuilt our platform from the ground up and have become fully automated solution designed to solve patient access.
Read the Definitive Guide to Waitlists