• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of brjgenpracRCGP homepageJ R Coll Gen Pract at PubMed CentralBJGP at RCGPBJGP at RCGP
Br J Gen Pract. Aug 1991; 41(349): 315–319.
PMCID: PMC1371752

Factors influencing waiting times and consultation times in general practice.

Abstract

Using data collected from 85 general practitioners in Lothian, large variations were found in the time patients wait for and spend with their doctor. This study, which sets consultations into their administrative framework, examines factors which cause this variation. Consultation time was found to be affected by the total number of patients attending a particular surgery, while waiting time was found to be affected by an individual patient's place within that surgery queue. Taking these two results together suggests that patients seen at the end of large surgeries are likely to get a different service from their doctor than they would have done earlier in the session, or when attending a less busy surgery. Possible strategies are discussed for reducing average waiting times, thereby decreasing the relative cost of consultation to patients.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (997K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Wilkin D, Metcalfe DH. List size and patient contact in general medical practice. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984 Dec 1;289(6457):1501–1505. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Knight R. The importance of list size and consultation length as factors in general practice. J R Coll Gen Pract. 1987 Jan;37(294):19–22. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Butler JR, Calnan MW. List sizes and use of time in general practice. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987 Nov 28;295(6610):1383–1386. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Raynes NV, Cairns V. Factors contributing to the length of general practice consultations. J R Coll Gen Pract. 1980 Aug;30(217):496–498. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Hughes D. Consultation length and outcome in two group general practices. J R Coll Gen Pract. 1983 Mar;33(248):143–147. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Howie JG, Porter AM, Forbes JF. Quality and the use of time in general practice: widening the discussion. BMJ. 1989 Apr 15;298(6679):1008–1010. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Morrell DC, Evans ME, Morris RW, Roland MO. The "five minute" consultation: effect of time constraint on clinical content and patient satisfaction. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986 Mar 29;292(6524):870–873. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ridsdale L, Carruthers M, Morris R, Ridsdale J. Study of the effect of time availability on the consultation. J R Coll Gen Pract. 1989 Dec;39(329):488–491. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Hull FM, Hull FS. Time and the general practitioner: the patient's view. J R Coll Gen Pract. 1984 Feb;34(259):71–75. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Harrison AT. Appointment systems: feasibility study of a new approach. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987 Jun 6;294(6585):1465–1466. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Lowenthal L, Bingham E. Length of consultation: how well do patient's choose? J R Coll Gen Pract. 1987 Nov;37(304):498–499. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Marshall EI. Waiting for the doctor. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986 Apr 12;292(6526):993–995. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Hill-Smith I. Mathematical relationship between waiting times and appointment interval for doctor and patients. J R Coll Gen Pract. 1989 Dec;39(329):492–494. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Howie JG, Porter AM, Heaney DJ, Hopton JL. Long to short consultation ratio: a proxy measure of quality of care for general practice. Br J Gen Pract. 1991 Feb;41(343):48–54. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from The British Journal of General Practice are provided here courtesy of Royal College of General Practitioners

Formats:

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...

Links

  • PubMed
    PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...