Every year, self-service capabilties become more commonplace, serving consumers in industries from travel to retail. Whether checking in for a flight or checking out at the grocery store, today’s consumers are more self-sufficient than ever before.
Today's healthcare consumer expects the same self-service capabilities from their healthcare experience. Yet despite this reality, many health systems still struggle to implement tools that will help streamline the patient experience.
A lesson in how patient check-in kiosks work (the technology behind these systems) and how they are used (the methodology behind these systems) reveals the many ways they positively impact the performance of healthcare organizations of all kinds.
To name a few, technology that enhances the point of service experience results in fewer errors, a focused, more productive administrative staff, a reduction of operational costs, and a more engaged, satisfied patient.
Why New Check-In Tools Are Necessary
When registration and check-in is performed manually, it slows down the entire patient visit. This leads to greater wait times, and fewer patients seen throughout the day.
Even more damaging is the missed opportunity to communicate with patients about their healthcare coverage and payment responsibility. The collection of information on paper and the subsequent manual electronic re-entry means patients’ benefits and demographic data are not immediately authenticated, which can lead to a higher number of rejected insurance claims and increased collection costs. This is a huge strain to patients and providers alike.
Technology Behind Patient Check-in Kiosks
The solution? Self-service healthcare technology focused on the needs of the healthcare consumer.
Similar to the way a passenger would check-in for a flight, patients are now enabled with similar technology to check-in for their healthcare visits. Patient check-in kiosks provide technology to streamline the entire check-in process. Integrated software like eligibility verification and payment processing platforms bring convenience and transparency to a patient's visit. Instead of guessing at the amount owed and being shocked by a bill afterwards, these tools help patients plan for and better manage their financial responsibilities.
Technology that provides a smoother experience from start to finish is a win-win for providers and patients both.
Methodology Behind Patient Check-In Kiosks
The methodology behind self-service technology is simple: empower, engage, and delight patients in their healthcare experience. Technology like patient check-in kiosks is what enables this methodology.
So how does this process work? Instead of going to a the front desk to check-in, patients will head to the kiosk to scan their insurance card and identification. When their personal information and insurance coverage are validated, it may also show any other required forms such as HIPPA and meaningful use questions, ensuring the practice remains in compliance. Patients even make payments for co-pays and outstanding balances at the kiosk and through a smartphone enabled app, which gives them complete control over their healthcare experience.
Streamlining the patient check-in process results in a more productive staff and reduction in tedious tasks that can be completed by the patient. A more productive staff also leaves more time to focus on providing quality patient care and an enjoyable, hassle-free healthcare experience. This ultimately leads to greater patient satisfaction and retention.
To meet the demands of the patient as a consumer, healthcare providers must invest in both the technology and methodology to do so. Point of service and patient self-service technology is the most obvious place to start.
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