No one enjoys waiting in line at medical offices or hospitals, but because many facilities are experiencing issues with understaffing, it has become even more common for individuals to endure longer wait times. In order to help streamline processes like patient check in, many medical providers and hospital systems have turned to digital automation in order to improve the patient experience as well as take some of the pressure off their staff members. Today, we will discuss why so many medical offices are adopting kiosk technologies and why they are so beneficial.
Digital kiosks have already been adopted by the healthcare industry to provide assistance in several ways. Here are some of the common functions that kiosks help to automate in the healthcare industry.
Regardless of the many benefits, some types of kiosks require a larger initial investment. This, along with the costs of general maintenance and upkeep over time, should be taken into account by those considering check-in kiosks for their medical practice. For this reason, many medical offices choose tablet computers for their check-in needs, which are smaller and less expensive than typical free-standing kiosks.
In order to evaluate a kiosk’s potential return on investment, some questions to ponder before implementing a self check-in solution include:
Check-in kiosks help providers gather their patients’ information so that it may be stored securely, something that has become increasingly important, as HIPAA violations can harm patient trust and result in big fines for violators.
Kiosks can help automate many basic tasks like check-in and wayfinding so that staff may be utilized in ways that are more meaningful, including customer service and ensuring quality patient experiences.
Automating tasks like check-in can help keep traffic flowing and prevent bottlenecks, decreasing wait times for patients to be seen.
Shorter wait times result in better patient experience and greater satisfaction with care. Whether for- or not-for-profit, all medical establishments are businesses, and patient satisfaction is what ensures they will return for future care.
With better customer experience and many time-consuming tasks automated, there is less need to hire staff for less complex tasks. Although some kiosks require a significant initial investment, over the long term, kiosks can help reduce costs associated with staffing, and allow existing staff to focus on more important tasks.
The first step to setting up a kiosk is to find a reputable manufacturer. Kiosk manufacturers should have previous experience with patient check-in kiosks and understand how to work with businesses of all sizes. REDYREF, for example, is a trusted manufacturer of digital kiosks, including those intended for use in healthcare environments.
Know what problems the check-in kiosk is trying to solve so that all of the necessary hardware, software and components can be integrated into the kiosk. The advantage of working with a kiosk manufacturer with experience in the medical industry is that they are aware of the needs of healthcare providers and are better able to design a kiosk that will meet those requirements.
A large kiosk, while attractive, is not ideal for most small offices. Check-in tablets -- whether freestanding on a pedestal or hand-held -- are a great alternative for handling patient check-ins in much more compact form factors.
It is important that staff familiarize themselves with the kiosk’s software. This is not only for the benefit of staff members, but so that they may assist patients that may have difficulty with the new system.
Most patients prefer using an electronic check-in system as it means less time filling out long forms by hand. Sending a quick announcement via email about the new check-in process, including some basic information about how it works, can increase their overall feelings of satisfaction with the practice while quelling any potential apprehension about the technology.
Integrated kiosks are quickly making their mark on industries around the world. They provide many benefits to those in the healthcare industry, including drastically decreasing wait times, therefore allowing staff to better serve patients’ more immediate concerns and increasing their satisfaction with their overall experiences.