Trustees of Dartmouth College, Batalden, Godfrey, Nelson
Hanover, New Hampshire, USA
The office visit cycle time is the amount of time in minutes that a patient spends at an office visit. The cycle begins at the time of arrival and ends when the patient leaves the office. The Patient Cycle Tool is a simple, one-page sheet on which the patient can record the time of each step in the visit (e.g., time checked in, time in the waiting room, time staff came to get you, etc.).
You can use the data collected using the Patient Cycle Tool to measure Office Visit Cycle Time. Once the team determines where the waits and delays are occurring, it can take steps to minimize the constraint or, in some cases, eliminate it.
Download the file and have the worksheet ready on a clipboard for the start of the appointment. (There is a space for comments along the way.) The Patient Cycle Tool can be administered several ways:
- Patients can carry the clipboard through their visit and note times.
- Staff can note the times as the patient moves through the practice.
- Patients can be "shadowed" by a person to document times.