Infographic: Average Wait Times to See a Doctor

It comes as no surprise that wait times to see a doctor have crept up and up over the years. Whether patients have a long wait just to get an appointment or they’re disgruntled at the time they sit in the waiting room, patient wait times have long attributed to dissatisfaction with healthcare.

Just how upsetting are wait times to sick patients? According to Vital’s Annual Report, 20% of patients have changed doctors due to long wait times and 30% have walked out of an appointment because of a long wait.

We wanted to learn more about how long patients were waiting to not only see their primary care physician, which remains an important and vital relationship, but also how long patients were waiting at high-cost healthcare facilities like emergency departments and urgent care facilities. Here’s what we learned:

  • The average wait time to be seen in an emergency department is over 2 hours.

  • For primary care physicians, patients only wait, on average, 18 minutes – but the length of time to get an appointment can be a hurdle. 
    • 60% of patients wait 2 weeks for a PCP appointment and only 10% see their regular doctor the same day they need care.

  • The average wait time for a telemedicine visit averages just 20 minutes and can be less depending on the vendor of choice.

Long wait times can be frustrating for patients, especially when dealing with an illness or urgent health concern that requires immediate attention. It can be equally as draining for organizations who are not only seeing their employees suffer, but are watching productivity go down the drain. If not for access to telemedicine, 6 RelyMD clients would have lost $40,000 worth of work efforts over the course of a year due to long wait times and sick co-workers.

While primary care physicians are an important health advocate to have on your side, visiting emergency departments for non-emergency medical care can be a time suck. Urgent care facilities aren’t always an option for round the clock care leaving patients with few options for immediate care needs when PCP appointments are hard to find. Having an additional option like telemedicine which requires no appointment and is available 24/7 can save valuable time and money.

Take a look at the infographic below to learn about wait times in comparison to virtual health.


Infographic: Average Wait Times to See a Doctor


Case Study
UNC Lenoir Health Care Case Study