The average wait time in US hospitals rose between 2020 and 2022, and it still remains high. According to a study undertaken in October, an average ER wait time is around 2.25 hours, but in states like Maryland, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Delaware, and New York, that is increased to between 3 and 4 hours.
This is a big problem not only in the US but across the world, as more and more patients are not being seen promptly and efficiently. Because of this, there are even patients who will not go to the hospital, potentially worsening their injuries or illness.
New Innovations Constantly In Development
The best way to solve these waiting times is with new innovations designed to speed up operations across the board. This can be anything from new tech to new tools for physicians.
Earlier in 2022, for instance, innovative medical retractors from June Medical were supplied to over 1,600 hospitals across the country, radically improving the ease of surgical retraction, as well as the safety, cost, and sustainability. A single tool can be enough to turn things around, and over the next few years, there are going to be many more making a stark impact.
Innovations To Cut Down Wait Times
To cut down wait times, specifically, the innovations are predominantly tech-based. Below are the five most exciting ones that could make a significant difference.
- Virtual Queue Tech
As mentioned before, many patients do not even go to the hospital for fear of waiting for several hours. To avoid this, medical app development companies are working to create an app that allows patients to track wait times virtually, receiving updates about where they are in the line.
A lot of time in hospitals is taken up with diagnosis, pre-procedure preparations, and medical advice – much of which does not have to be done face-to-face. Chatbots and telehealth solutions, however, are providing patients with 24/7 care, allowing them to receive solutions to their problems in real-time, and without having to visit a hospital in the first place.
- 3D Models
More complex surgeries take more time, both in performing the surgery and planning it. With 3D models, surgeons are able to create specific models of patients’ organs, helping them to plan and practice these complex surgeries far more effectively.
- Drone Medication
Just as many patients don’t need to visit a hospital to find a solution, pretty soon, they may not even have to visit to receive medical resources. Some organisations are now using drones to deliver medical supplies, which could be very useful in areas like Maryland or Rhode Island, where patients are having to wait for nearly 4 hours simply to receive these supplies.
- Advanced Appointment Scheduling
Another problem with the healthcare industry is no-shows – where patients are either late or do not attend their scheduled appointments at all. With centralised appointment scheduling tech, hospitals are given more aid to track patient records and deliver a fixed scheduling time so no one has to wait in a waiting room. It may seem like a small innovation, but again, it is innovations like these that could make the biggest difference.