Last week, we began a discussion on the future of self-service kiosks. Much has been written about the topic, and consumers’ feelings about them certainly vary, but every indication still points to the fact that digital kiosks are here to stay. This means that the question isn’t if kiosks will be relevant; instead, it’s what the next wave of applications will be, and in what capacity are they most likely to be deployed.
Interestingly, one of the biggest markets for self-service kiosks is the medical industry. As Boomers age, it is becoming an accepted fact that there will be many more patients in need of care than there will be doctors available to treat them. Therefore, hospitals and medical facilities are looking for ways to more quickly move patients through the system, while reducing costs at the same time. An innovative way to make this happen is via self-service registration kiosks, which create efficiencies in several ways:First, they get rid of pen and paper forms, which are often redundant, and generally viewed by patients as inconvenient or a waste of time. Decreasing the amount of time required to fill out paperwork increases the chance that patients will matriculate to an exam or treatment room faster, allowing doctors to stay on schedule (keeping patients happy), and potentially see more patients per day, contributing to a healthier bottom line. Second, digital registration kiosks decrease the need for human labor. While there will most likely always be a need for front-desk associates to assist patients to some degree, that need will decrease greatly if manual entry and organization of patient information is no longer required. This leads to labor cost savings for both private practices and medical systems, which in turn frees up monetary resources that may be better allocated toward hiring additional clinicians. Third, electronic records, in particular those that are input directly by the patient, are more likely to be accurate than those entered by a third party. Records mistakes that are the result of hard-to-read handwriting, an incomplete understanding of the patient’s medical history or even just simple human error, can be dangerous for patients, and therefore costly to practitioners who use this information to diagnose, treat and prescribe. So what else is on tap for self-service kiosks? We invite you to follow RedyRef as we continue to explore the future of the industry over the coming weeks. Already know that you want to take the plunge into high-tech kiosk deployment? RedyRef’s experts are available to assist organizations of all sizes; just give us a call at (800) 628-3603 ext 525 or submit a request for proposal online and our team will be with you every step of the way.