Kiosks and other self-service products have been used to streamline operations in many different business models, from retail to healthcare. Medical practices are finding a multitude of benefits to adapting these devices to patient services. But for a technology that is relatively new to the healthcare space, overcoming patient objections and apprehension to these devices can be a challenge.
Patient-friendly, convenient operations afford many benefits to a medical practice. Kiosks allow patients to check-in on their own, which frees up the front desk workload significantly and reduces wait times. In addition to the functionality aspects of patient check-in kiosks, the indirect benefits are undeniable. Healthcare consumers today expect, and in some cases demand, a streamlined, convenient, and transparent transaction with healthcare providers. They are afforded this luxury in almost all other interactions as a consumer, and it has slowly become an expectation that healthcare organizations provide the same experience. Not to mention the impact that securing POS payments from patients can have on a practice's bottom line.
However, when it comes to fully integrating kiosks into your practice, the question isn't whether or not they're a good idea for improving the organizational aspect of the front desk. Like most new developments in healthcare technology, the trick is getting the patient to participate.
How to Entice Patients To Use Check-In Kiosks
Medical practices are often criticized for their lack of inclination to keep up with technology. Though practices typically find that once they've actually implemented the technology and learned how to use it properly, it does streamline their process and offers more opportunities to provide quality patient care.
Many patients today are actually more inclined to use various technologies to streamline their experience. They actively look for practices to accommodate those needs. Whether you serve a greater portion of patients who dislike change or ones who are set to embrace it, there are a number of ways to offer incentives that will help in patient participation with check-in kiosks at your organization.
1. Smart Phone App. For your tech savvy patients, offering an app that they can download to their phone is ideal. It allows patients to manage their check-in, as well as add any missing data and manage payments from a convenient location they're comfortable using. Many platforms now have apps available that allow patients to perform a number of functions before even stepping foot in your practice.
2. Front Desk Help. For patients reticent to use the kiosk or confused about the technology, staff members should be on hand to offer help in using the device, at least for the first few visits.
3. No Lines. Patients often find that the absence of waiting in line and repeating sensitive information out loud at the desk is incentive enough to use a kiosk. Once the protocol is explained, many patients find the convenience very enticing.
4. Gift Cards. Many practices find that offering gift cards or other small incentives is helpful in getting patients to fill out patient surveys and utilize other aspects of their kiosks. They may also offer incentives for hitting health goals, such as a set weight or sugar level.
5. Health Measurements. Some kiosks offer different functions so that patients can take a more active part in their health, such as monitoring their weigh and dietary habits, tracking their activity and exercise levels, etc.
6. Information and Education. Kiosks can hold educational materials as well as the patient's own records which can be emailed directly to them or printed for their convenient use.
The most important thing your practice can do is to ensure patient satisfaction with patient check-in kiosks is take the time to educate and engage with patients. Doing so will lead to more empowered, engaged, and delighted patients.