Taking the waiting game out of the waiting room. It's a way to check up on your doctor's schedule ... and it's easing the pain for patients passing the time before an office visit.
The clock ticks, leaving patients ticked as they sit waiting for their doctor.
Dr. Vishal Mehta, Orthopedic Surgeon, Fox Valley Orthopaedic Associates: "They all say the same thing, 'Look doc, we understand you run behind, but just let us know. Can you let us know before we come to the office?'"
Emergency surgeries, urgent phone calls and appointments that run long ... all leave a doctor playing catch up. Now, an app to catch an update on your doc's schedule hours before you take a seat in his office.
Dr. Mehta: "You simply click on that ... search doctor. Wait time is yellow and that means we have a delay and patients can come in 10 minutes after their scheduled appointment."
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Vishal Mehta helped develop the technology. He says his Med-Wait-Time system puts a stop to wasting time in his waiting room.
Dr Mehta: "They understand we're running late but want to know before they get to the practice so they are not running every yellow light and then sitting in the office for 40 minutes. Or they are at least expecting a wait so they can bring some work to do in the waiting room."
On the morning of his visit, firefighter Mario Flores got a text message.
Mario Flores: "Says status is green."
With his son in tow, he appreciated the heads up.
Mario Flores: "Today I had my son with me and kids can be very inpatient waiting in doctors' rooms so it's nice to get right in and get out and go about your business."
A staff member monitors Dr. Mehta's schedule and sends updates via text or e-mail ... telling patients whether they should come in on time or arrive a little later.
Dr. Mehta: "It's made my patients happier. It's made my staff happier because they are no longer staring at an angry waiting room."
Patients can use Med-Wait-Time to check schedules at some local hospitals and urgent care centers. And other physicians including chiropractors, podiatrists and dentists have begun offering the service to patients.