Tennessee Medicine E-Journal


Introduction: Multiple factors have been shown to influence the duration of Outpatient physician office visit and these ranges from patient characteristics to insurance coverage and visit content. Due to patients’ satisfaction being an important parameter of healthcare delivery, instituting quality improvement processes to shorten the patient wait time and duration of office visit might have a positive impact on their care.

Methods: A prospective observational study was done and study subjects were new or established female patients seen at the outpatient clinic by physicians in February 2014 with visit duration captured through time stamps at various points of patients’ visit and care at the outpatient clinic. A multivariate analysis was done with p≤0.05.

Results: A total of 574 outpatient office visits was recorded. Hispanic 22.6%, African American 20.2 %, Caucasians 53.7 % and others 3.5 % with an average duration of visit being 93 minutes. The visit time did not correlate statistically with patients’ ethnicity, age, marital status, day of the week at presentation, level of patients’ education, encounter type or providers level of experience. The only significant difference elicited was between a new and an established patient visit.

Conclusion: Although the recording of the time during patients’ visit made providers more cognizant of the time intervals, it did not elicit an anticipated significant change in the duration of our Physician office visit.