40% of patients say healthcare wait times are 'unreasonable': Survey

While timely access to care is important when it comes to outcomes and patient satisfaction, findings from an April national survey released July 11 by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners show 40 percent of 1,029 respondents said they have experienced "longer than reasonable" wait times in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. This percentage increased over 2022 survey findings.

"Nearly half of those who experienced unreasonable wait times gave up seeking an appointment and did not receive care," according to a July 11 AANP news release.

Patients who sought mental health services were included in the survey polling.

"These results are an eye-opening look at the state of access to care in our healthcare system," AANP President Stephen Ferrara, DNP, said in the release. "Timely access to care, particularly preventative care, is crucial. … When care is delayed or deferred, individuals face greater health risks and increased chances of complications, which may also lead to lost wages for patients and reduced productivity for employers."

Patients in all demographics, including urban, suburban and rural communities, said they experienced "unreasonable wait times," and more than 4 in 10 said they had to wait more than two months for an appointment. 

"Among those with longer waits, nearly half ended up not going," the release said.

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