Bridging the Gap Between Patients and Healthcare Providers With Self Check-In Kiosks

Friday, July 21, 2023


Whether you manage urgent care, a veterinary office, or even the DMV, improving the customer experience during the first moments of their visit should be a priority. Self-check-in kiosks are one way to do this.

Kiosks allow customers to input their data, reducing the opportunity for human error. Additionally, they allow guests to browse upgrades and additional services at their leisure.

Patient Experience

Kiosks fulfill a consumer need for autonomy by allowing patients to check in themselves, saving receptionists time. They also reduce staff's effort in mundane tasks like registering new patients, collecting payment and insurance information, and processing paperwork.

When compared with traditional methods, self-check-in kiosks are found to be quicker and more accurate. On average, a patient is checked in within 1 minute when using a booth versus 5-7 minutes with a receptionist. Kiosks can offer services like ID scans, facial recognition, and voice recognition for enhanced security and accuracy.

In addition to easing administrative burdens, self-service kiosks help increase patient satisfaction by alleviating the stress of waiting. Consumer surveys conducted by Waitwhile show that 75% of consumers experience negative feelings when waiting for service, including boredom, annoyance, and frustration. Self-service kiosks can mitigate this by reducing wait times, informing people of waiting times through onscreen call screens and enabling patients to choose their clinic appointment dates and times.

All kiosk systems are subject to technical difficulties, from hardware to software failures, which can disrupt your facility. It's essential to select a digital provider that offers flexible hardware so you can switch out your kiosk device if necessary. If this happens, it's essential to have paper registration and intake forms on hand as a backup and to keep your staff available to assist your customers.

Patient Information

In addition to speeding up registration and intake, self check-in kiosks help provide patient information that may not be available to the healthcare team. This includes patient demographics, insurance information, upcoming appointments, and more. Kiosks are increasingly being used by dialysis centers, physical therapy facilities, drug treatment programs, and other specialty medical practices due to their convenience and ease of use.

However, implementing kiosks in this setting has raised concerns about the impersonality of the system and about privacy and security risks (e.g., kiosk screens display personal information that others can see, and users can touch the screen with bare hands). These issues are more relevant to general practice than hospitals, which typically limit their use of kiosks in primary care settings and use dedicated rooms for patient check-in.

Kiosks can also enable healthcare staff to focus on greeting patients and answering questions, which improves employee satisfaction. And while kiosks are expensive to purchase and install, they can pay for themselves by reducing operational costs and diverting staff to more valuable tasks.

One thing to remember when deploying kiosks is that they are susceptible to technical difficulties, like hardware failure or software outages. In the event of these incidents, you should have a backup process in place so that your facility can continue to serve patients. For example, a facility could use voice services to let patients know that their request has been received or to check in.

Patient Self-Representation

Health kiosks can offer many advantages, including increased accessibility and availability to health services, saving staff and patients' time, providing convenience for people (8), and decreasing the burden of healthcare costs. However, evaluating the health-related impacts of using kiosks, such as device and data security and quality, privacy, service tariff, advertising protocol, and people's ability to communicate their needs to kiosks is important.

Healthcare providers have long struggled to keep up with a growing demand for healthcare, and the problem is only getting worse as Baby Boomers continue to age. Often, hospitals are overcrowded, and frontline healthcare employees are overwhelmed with administrative tasks. That's where self-check-in kiosks come in.

Kiosks can help alleviate this problem by allowing customers to handle their registration and check-in process, which reduces the number of manual paper processes that need to be handled. This, in turn, provides staff to reassign their time to more pressing tasks, such as helping customers or answering questions.

Additionally, kiosks can also save practices money by eliminating the cost of printing and handling paperwork. And, when healthcare organizations constantly seek ways to increase revenue, kiosks can even allow businesses to upsell customers on additional services. Using a queue management system, such as Waitwhile, all customer data can be centrally managed so your staff can access this information whenever needed.

Patient Engagement

With self-service capabilities now commonplace in the retail and travel industry, today's consumers expect the same from healthcare experiences. Kiosks can reduce the burden on your staff and make your patients feel welcome and essential.

Many top healthcare providers are selecting consumer tablets as the hardware platform for their kiosks because they're intuitive for patients, easy to deploy and support, and offer cost savings over alternative technologies. And kiosks built on iOS can easily be integrated with your existing apps and other digital touchpoints on a single unified platform, avoiding disjointed experiences that are difficult to manage and maintain.

Using a patient self-check-in kiosk reduces the time staff spends on the most repetitive and monotonous tasks, allowing them to focus more on providing quality customer service and helping each patient achieve their healthcare goals. In addition, enabling patients to complete their check-in processes on their smartphones or tablets before their visit ensures they will be present and ready for their appointment, minimizing the likelihood of missed appointments due to incomplete information or miscommunication.

Kiosks also allow you to offer more robust information gathering through tools like medical history forms, questionnaires, and surveys that can be filled out at the kiosk before a face-to-face consult. This can result in more detailed answers and a better picture of your patient's medical histories. For example, one study found that when patients used a healthcare kiosk to fill out health history forms, they were less likely to exaggerate their symptoms than those who spoke with a nurse or physician.

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