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As an emerging distinct practice environment, urgent care is in the early stages of building a data set specific to its norms and practices. In Developing Data, JUCM will offer results not only from UCA’s annual benchmarking surveys, but also from research conducted elsewhere to present an expansive view of the healthcare marketplace in which urgent care seeks to strengthen its presence.

In this issue: What is the relationship between wait times and the comfort of the waiting room when it comes to patient satisfaction with a trip to the ED?

Some of the results are somewhat counterintuitive; patients waiting in the least comfortable ED waiting room for more than four hours reported higher satisfaction than those waiting less than an hour in the least comfortable ED waiting room. The steady, steep increase in satisfaction scores from the least comfortable to the most comfortable rooms is important to note, however. Perhaps most telling: the satisfaction score among patients who waited for more than four hours in the most comfortable waiting room was 93.6%.

Shorter wait times are perceived as a key advantage when comparing urgent care with emergency rooms. This study shows that investing in the quality of your waiting room may pay dividends in patient satisfaction, though.

Developing Data: July/August, 2008