Virtual Hospital Waiting Room: The Way to Improve Patient Experience

05 Dec 2023

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Overcrowded hospital waiting rooms are one of the most stressful problems for clinics, medical establishments, and healthcare providers. Work delays, risks of spreading infections, tiredness and irritation of waiting — only reinforce the need for a telehealth app integrated with a virtual hospital waiting room functionality. Such a solution eliminates the problem of crowded clinics and redefines the interaction between patients and the medical providers.

As an IT vendor with 11+ years of experience in Healthcare, we at Cleveroad are here to share our expertise and help you understand what benefits you can get from implementing a virtual hospital waiting room, including core features, clickable demo, and cost.

What is Virtual Waiting Room Technology and How It Works?

Virtual hospital waiting room is a technological solution to replace traditional physical waiting rooms in hospitals and clinics. This software allows patients to make an appointment remotely, fill out all the necessary documentation, and wait for their appointment at any convenient location, such as in a car or cafeteria. Virtual waiting room healthcare solution also tracks patients' place in the queue and notifies them when it is their turn.

Implementing such software reduces infection-spreading risks caused by many people in the waiting room. It provides new opportunities for patient satisfaction and optimization of medical staff work.

Working mechanism of virtual hospital waiting room

The virtual hospital waiting room is innovative in managing appointments and making patients wait comfortably. Here is a step-by-step description of how this technology works:

1. App registration. Patients begin by registering for the virtual hospital waiting room through a mobile app. This process requires basic personal information to create an account.

2. Date and time selection. Users can select a convenient date and time for an appointment using the app's functionality. It provides flexibility and convenience in scheduling a visit.

3. Booking an appointment. After selecting a time, patients book an appointment by specifying the type of medical service they require. The system checks the availability and confirms the booking.

4. Virtual queue. Booked patients automatically join the virtual queue. Here, they receive information about the waiting time and their place in the queue.

5. Notifications and reminders. Patients receive notifications and reminders of upcoming appointments, helping them to be ready for their consultation and reduces the likelihood of missing or being late.

6. Visit. Once patients reach their turn in the virtual hospital waiting room, they can consult the doctor. In this case, the virtual hospital waiting room is used for offline and online appointments.

Virtual hospital waiting room designed by Cleveroad

Virtual hospital waiting room designed by Cleveroad

Software used for virtual waiting room technology

Virtual waiting room healthcare technology can be implemented as a standalone solution, providing full functionality to manage patient records and wait times. However such a solution is commonly integrated (as a system module) with various medical systems, such as:

Telemedicine platforms. The virtual waiting room integrates with telemedicine software development with a module aimed at providing patients a seamless transition from the waiting phase to the virtual consultation. This integration creates a single space for effective interaction with medical staff at a distance, providing convenience and accessibility.

Patient portals. Implementing the virtual hospital waiting room within patient portal development provides convenient access to records and health information management. Patients receive centralized access, improving interaction and satisfaction.

Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM). Integration with remote patient monitoring software provides virtual waiting room functionality for continuity of care. It allows for timely detection of changes and effective intervention in patient health.

Electronic Health Records (EHR). Creating EHR system with virtual hospital waiting room feature ensures that appointment booking operates with up-to-date patient information. It reduces data duplication, ensuring the accuracy and consistency of information.

Doctor appointment booking systems. Considering doctor appointment app development with virtual waiting room functionality will allow to optimizes admissions processes, reducing time and ensuring efficient use of medical staff time, physical office space, and administrative resources.

Explore our telemedicine software development services to unveil all the possibilities for virtual waiting room integration

Key Benefits of Virtual Waiting Room for Healthcare Business

The virtual hospital waiting room offers many advantages for healthcare providers. The software benefits both physicians and patients, providing greater customer satisfaction and more efficient care. Let's take a look at what are the major pros of virtual waiting room healthcare solutions.

Benefits for patients

Let's explore the main benefits of a virtual hospital waiting room for patients, ensuring that their experience of visiting clinics is improved:

Time-saving. Patients no longer have to waste time waiting at the clinic. They can virtually check in at the clinic, and while they are on their way, their turn comes. 53% of respondents in a LifeLink survey claimed that the main benefit of a virtual hospital waiting room is no need to arrive early.

Safety. Patients no longer have to wait in a crowded waiting room. They can enter the virtual waiting room directly from their car parked in the parking lot and visit the clinic only after the doctor is ready to see them. Virtual waiting rooms and telemedicine effectively deliver the required healthcare service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Convenience. Patients no longer have to fill out forms while sitting in the waiting room. They can fill out the paperwork online using the virtual waiting room healthcare app. LifeLink research shows that 80% of patients prefer completing paperwork on mobile device prior to arriving at the doctor’s office.

Safe and controlled environment. Patients can stay in their car or home's safe and controlled environment until their consultation, reducing the risk of exposure to infections in crowded areas. For instance, a survey by LifeLink shows that 84% of respondents prefer employing virtual waiting room healthcare solutions for the scheduling and check-in processes related to COVID-19 vaccinations.

Benefits for medical providers

Now, let’s review how virtual hospital waiting room can help medical employees:

Quick and easy patient onboarding. Physicians or front desk staff no longer have to create a waiting list and call patients manually. The system automatically generates a virtual waitlist and notifies patients when it's their time to go for appointment.

Minimal manual input during patient registration. When patients add their personal information and fill out appointment forms online, the front desk staff does not have to enter data manually.

Efficient schedule and appointment management. A virtual hospital waiting room system provides efficient management of schedules and records, reducing the risks of errors and increasing the overall productivity of medical staff.

Increased efficiency and productivity. Virtual waiting rooms allow physicians focus on consultations rather than queuing, improving efficiency and quality of care.

Reduced no-shows. Patients plan their visits more responsibly, which reduces no-shows and ensures more efficient use of physician time.

Enhanced remote care options. Physicians have improved their ability to provide remote care, which is especially important in the context of telemedicine and current trends in healthcare delivery.

Have questions on virtual waiting room integration?

Book a 30-minute consultation with our Healthcare subject matter expert to access guidance on about virtual waiting room integration into your clinic appointment system

Core Features of Virtual Waiting Room Technology

Building a virtual waiting room healthcare solution requires building an app for the patient and for the doctor. Each has several basic features to ensure the app works safely and efficiently. In this section, we will look at them in detail.

Patient-side solution features

The telemedicine app with virtual hospital waiting room must provide patients with a secure and convenient mapping facility for booking and waiting appointments. For this purpose, it is necessary to implement the following must-have functionality:

  • Secure patient authorization and authentication. This feature provides a high level of security, utilizing advanced identification methods such as two-factor authentication to ensure the privacy of personal medical data.
  • Appointment booking. Patients can easily select convenient appointment dates and times, simplifying the scheduling process and minimizing waiting time in the waiting room queue.
  • Virtual check-in. This feature eliminates the need to physically check in at the reception desk, allowing patients to enter the virtual waiting room remotely, saving time.
  • Predictable wait times. Patients receive information about their anticipated wait time, helping them plan their time efficiently and reducing anxiety associated with waiting.
  • Questionnaire completion. Patients can pre-fill all required medical questionnaires and forms online, providing physicians with complete and accurate information before their visit.
  • Appointment notification. The system sends patients notifications of upcoming appointments, providing timely reminders and added convenience.
  • Payment (for the uninsured). Patients without insurance are given the option to pay online, simplifying financial processes and providing financial transparency.
  • Real-time messaging. Interacting with medical staff in real-time via chat or video consultations provides a convenient communication channel.
Example of a telemedicine app for making appointments made by Cleveroad

Example of a telemedicine app for making appointments made by Cleveroad

Doctor-side app features

The doctor's side of the telemedicine app with a virtual waiting room module aims to empower medical providers with tools for efficient patient management. To achieve this goal, the application must contain the following key features:

Virtual waitlist moderation

Physicians can effectively manage and moderate the virtual waitlist, optimizing appointments and improving care processes.

Patient questionnaire upload

Allows physicians to preview completed medical questionnaires and medical histories, improving the quality of the initial consultation.

Administration of appointments

Physicians can effectively manage appointments, make changes, and respond to cancellations, ensuring smooth operations and patient satisfaction.

Telehealth Platform in Action: Software Demo

You can see how the Telehealth platform works using our prototype. It contains virtual hospital waiting room features, appointment scheduling, online-meeting functionality, billing, real-time notifications, and other functionality required for obtaining remote care.

How to Build a Virtual Hospital Waiting Room

To successfully build and integrate a virtual hospital waiting room, you will need to follow a few important steps. Let's review each in detail:

Define the business needs

First, clearly define the business needs you want to fulfill. Decide on the strategic goals, such as reducing patient wait times, improving the overall hospital visit experience, or optimizing admission processes. Also, discuss with your staff the need for integration of virtual waiting room module with other software in your hospital. A clear understanding of your goals and requirements will allow you to start the development process faster and complete it efficiently.

Find an experienced IT provider

Choosing the right IT provider is key to successful virtual hospital waiting room implementation. Evaluate the provider's experience by looking at their reputation, portfolio, and customer reviews on platforms like Clutch. It is recommended to look for providers that offer healthcare software development services and have a proficiency in building innovative telemedicine solutions.

Deciding to build a virtual hospital waiting room, you can choose:

  • Work with an in-house team
  • Partner with IT outsourcing company

In-house is a more expensive option (due to higher administrative costs, including rent, hardware, insurance, etc.) but will give you complete control over your employees and project development. At the same time, finding professionals with the needed domain expertise can be a challenge.

You can avoid such difficulties by turning to an outsourcing IT vendor and saving a lot of money on administrative costs such as rent or hardware. You will also have access to unlimited tech talent with specific knowledge and technology worldwide. With outsourcing, you get a ready-made team of specialists with the right experience and skills to develop medical software. The vendor is also fully responsible for project control and delivery, freeing up your time for more important tasks.

Learn how to outsource healthcare software development in our detailed guide

Assess existing IT infrastructure

It is essential to realize that a virtual hospital waiting room is not a one-size-fits-all solution unless it is integrated with various other healthcare software systems in the hospital's IT environment. Thus, the IT vendor, you cooperate with, will need to carefully review your existing solutions and hospital IT infrastructure to deliver an optimal solution. Ideally, such a service will automatically check scheduled appointments into the hospital's management system, send automated reminders to people with the healthcare CRM implementation, provide access to a knowledge base, allow for secure transfer and storage of personal data, and more. Therefore, legacy solutions may need to be updated or replaced before virtual waiting room software development and implementation can begin.

A competent healthcare tech provider will assist you in IT structure assessment and provide recommendations for upgrading or replacing legacy systems in place to ensure smooth integration of the virtual waiting room into the hospital's IT enviroment.

Ensure security and regulatory compliance

When implementing a virtual hospital waiting room, security measures and industry regulatory compliance must be emphasized:

  • Data encryption. Ensure strong encryption of patient data at all stages of transmission and storage to ensure privacy.
  • Authentication and authorization. Implement strong authentication and authorization mechanisms to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Compliance with industry regulations. In processing personal health data, ensure compliance with industry regulations such as HIPAA, GDPR, PIPEDA, FDA, FHIR, DCOM, etc.
  • Monitoring and journaling. Implement a monitoring and journaling system to identify suspicious events and respond promptly.
  • Staff training. Train medical staff on following security procedures in using the virtual waiting room.
  • Regular security audits and testing. Conduct security audits and testing to identify vulnerabilities and continually improve the system.

When choosing an IT provider, ensure they are experienced in healthcare data security and willing to provide the necessary assurances to meet industry standards. As an ISO/IEC 27001:2013 Standard-certified company, we pay close attention to system security so that customers are assured of receiving reliable software, are compliant with legal and regulatory obligations, and are protected from any threats to data privacy.

Focus on UI/UX design

When designing a virtual hospital waiting room, focus on inclusive design principles to ensure usability by different age groups, including teens and seniors. Considering age-appropriate requirements early will help create an interface that meets the needs of all patients. Ensure universal accessibility, conduct testing with different user groups, and provide training to ensure comfort in using the technology.

If you are looking for UI/UX design services, select an IT provider that knows the nuances and design requirements for telehealth systems and can create an inclusive and user-friendly design that meets the diverse needs of users and provides support throughout all phases of development.

Build the solution and integrate it with existing systems

The development phase includes building the necessary features, thoroughly testing the code, and preparing all the required materials. The technology vendor handles the step-by-step implementation of the project, including:

  • Programming the critical elements of the virtual waiting room healthcare solution
  • Conducting testing to ensure reliability and implementation readiness
  • Preparing the necessary documentation

During the implementation phase, the IT vendor ensures that the virtual hospital waiting room is seamlessly integrated into your healthcare organization's digital infrastructure. This includes connecting to existing clinic management systems and interfacing with telehealth platforms to ensure the new solution functions effectively. This approach ensures that the virtual waiting room integrates smoothly and benefits your healthcare practice immediately.

Staff training

Practical training of medical staff is a vital aspect of a successful virtual hospital waiting room implementation. Provide specialized educational materials and training sessions to ensure that staff thoroughly understand the functionality and operation of the virtual waiting room. Training also includes explaining how the technology is perceived from the patient's perspective so that medical staff can provide patients with the necessary guidance if they encounter difficulties using the new solution.

Increase awareness among patients

After successfully implementing a virtual waiting room in a healthcare organization, it is essential to inform patients about the innovation proactively. The technology vendor can support the medical practice by implementing a module with tutorials and videos that explain how to use the virtual waiting room. Effective communication strategies can make the transition as smooth as possible for patients, ensuring comfort and transparency in their interaction with the healthcare provider.

Planning to add virtual hospital waiting room?

Our team with 11+ years in telemedicine software development is fully equipped to build a robust telehealth solution to enhance patients’ waiting experience

Cost Consideration of Implementing Virtual Hospital Waiting Room

Calculating the cost of developing and implementing a virtual hospital waiting room is a multifaceted process. To give you an accurate project price estimate, your software vendor needs to review a number of factors, such as the IT environment of your institution, the specifics of your business processes, your functional and non-functional requirements for the solution, etc.

Learn more about the cost to make healthcare applications with price estimation examples in our guide.

Let’s see how a software project is estimated on the example of Cleveroad’s workflow. Our experts prepare two types of estimates for our clients - Rough and Detailed.

In turn, the rough estimate is divided into two stages:

Stage 1. The Solution Design Workshop estimate is based on the so-called "helicopter view" of the project. This means that when making it, the team is mainly guided by their previous experience in similar projects, defining the main scope of work, objectives, level of product complexity, and critical requirements.

Stage 2. The Discovery Phase rough estimate is created after the active work on the project begins. It is much more accurate than the previous one, as it considers more variables, including business process details, detailed list of features, solution architecture, etc. Thus, we refined the estimate of the solution phase, offering a more accurate cost, scope of work, and team composition.

Finally, detailed estimates are made with the participation of developers. They fill in all gaps in the information required for a specific project estimate, including wireframes, specifications, and other documentation of the future software, including nop-development activities, integrations, and suggestions. In this way, the detailed estimate ensures 100% accuracy in estimating the cost of the virtual waiting room healthcare solution.

If you are planning to integrate a virtual hospital waiting room into your telemedicine system and wondering how much it will cost, feel free to contact our experts. Our team scrutinizes your business needs and requirements and creates a personalized estimate of your project cost.

Cleveroad Expertise in Building Digital Solutions for Healthcare

Cleveroad is a healthcare software development company from the CEE (Central and Eastern Europe) region, notably Estonia. For more than 11 years, our software engineers have been helping medical businesses improve their patients' experience, enhance caregiving, and boost operations by creating robust medical software products. The health solutions we build include telemedicine systems, Electronic Health Records (EHRs), remote patient monitoring software, healthcare CRMs, Patient Portals, and much more.

By choosing Cleveroad for virtual waiting room development, you will get the following benefits:

  • The team of certified experts who help healthcare, mental care, and medical institutions choose the best suiting tech stack and advise the resilient solution architecture
  • Hands-on experience in building legislation-compliant software under the HIPAA, PIPEDA, HITECH, HL7, GDPR and other healthcare regulations and standards
  • On-demand IT services: from scratch medical app development, UI/UX design, IT consulting, software modernization services, etc.
  • High expertise in creating robust healthcare and telehealth platforms by implementing defensive countermeasures, such as role-based access control (RBAC), industry-standard data encryption, activities tracking,etc.
  • Signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) per your request to ensure data confidentiality

For now, our team has built many custom healthcare and telemedicine software solutions.

One of our recent projects is the Telemedicine system with appointment scheduling. We have created a telemedicine solution aimed at providing healthcare service for patients via online appointments (with UK-certified general practitioners and clinicians). The solution includes billing, audio and video calling, and appointment management features. The system includes administration due to the RBAC approaches for various users and complies with medical regulations (MNRA and CQC) and GDPR rules for data security.

Another healthcare solution we have built is a Clinic Management System with EMR for a rehab clinic. Our software engineers developed a robust medical system complying with HIPAA to manage the main processes of the clinic, including billing, appointment booking, e-prescriptions, and managing users all in one system. We also built an app for patients to make and schedule appointments with a chosen doctor from any place.

If you are ready to replace crowded waiting rooms with virtual ones, don't hesitate to contact us! Cleveroad experts will provide you with full-cycle healthcare software development services to enhance your patients' experience and free your medical staff from paperwork.

Frequently Asked Questions
What is a virtual hospital waiting room?

A virtual hospital waiting room is a digital solution designed to replace or supplement traditional physical waiting areas in healthcare facilities. It enables patients to remotely check-in for appointments, join a virtual queue, and receive real-time updates on their wait time. By leveraging digital platforms such as websites or mobile apps, patients can wait outside the hospital premises, enhancing convenience and minimizing the need for crowded waiting areas. The technology often includes features like appointment scheduling, communication channels, and the ability to reschedule or cancel appointments.

How does a virtual waiting room work?

A virtual waiting room operates by allowing patients to remotely check-in for appointments using a digital platform, such as a website or mobile app. After scheduling an appointment, patients join a virtual queue and receive real-time updates on their wait time and position. This technology enables patients to wait outside the physical facility, offering flexibility and enhancing the overall experience. Patients can often reschedule or cancel appointments via the virtual waiting room app, and healthcare staff can communicate with them through various channels, including text messaging or video calls.

What are the benefits of virtual waiting rooms?

Virtual waiting rooms provide a number of benefits for patients and doctors. Provider’s benefits include easy patient onboarding, minimal manual input during patient registration, efficient appointment management, increased efficiency and productivity. Patients' advantages are time-saving, safety and convenience.

How to create a virtual waiting room healthcare?

Creating a virtual waiting room in healthcare involves partnering with an experienced healthcare technology provider. The development team will assess your existing business challenges and IT infrastructure, consider the requirements for security and regulatory compliance, design an inclusive solution, and build and integrate it with current business systems. Outsourcing is an excellent approach to finding an experienced software vendor who will help you to build and integrate a virtual waiting room into your clinic’s workflow.

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About author

Evgeniy Altynpara is a CTO and member of the Forbes Councils’ community of tech professionals. He is an expert in software development and technological entrepreneurship and has 10+years of experience in digital transformation consulting in Healthcare, FinTech, Supply Chain and Logistics

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