Kiosks have been available in various businesses for many years, from airports to conference centers. Medical groups and private practices are now using this technology to streamline their front office procedures. As more practices use kiosks to have patients check-in for their appointments, they're finding a number of positive benefits, including patient satisfaction and the increased ability to meet Meaningful Use requirements put in place by the Affordable Care Act.
For practices that haven't yet expanded their technological resources to include patient kiosks, the advantages are well worth the cost of implementation.
Top 5 Benefits of Using Patient Check In Kiosks
1. Patient control. For many patients today, technology is a part of their daily life. More and more patients are learning that the technology they experience in so many of their daily interactions can also be applied to their healthcare experience, and they are seeking health organizations who are ahead of the curve. Kiosks offer patients the chance to control their entire financial encounter, from check-in to payment. Most patient check in kiosks also enable mobile applications for even greater transparency and control.
2. Eliminates front desk congestion. The traditional method of check-in generally requires that patients stand in line to be checked in by one or more of the front desk staff. With a kiosk, check-ins can be completed by patients without having to stand in line or use the receptionist's time. Front desk personnel can then be on hand to help with any questions that might arise and focus more time on other pressing administrative duties.
3. Individual attention. Kiosks can automatically lead patients through a series of questions to gain pertinent information that may be missing from their file. This is exceptionally helpful to office staff, as all of the information can be completed without follow-up calls or employee time.
4. Complete transparency. People in general are looking for complete transparency when it comes to financial transactions. For patients, this is more important today as high deductible health insurance plans have become the norm. Implementing a patient check in kiosk will allow patients total transparency into the cost of their healthcare. An added bonus is a kiosk that can provide patient eligibility verification for insurance plans and cost estimation for services performed.
5. Accelerates patient collections. For providers, arguably the most important benefit of using patient check in kiosks is how they affect revenue. Because they collect patient's payment information at the time of service, patient collections are accelerated. Some kiosks will process payment as soon as the claim is adjudicated. The impact to a practice's bottom line will be substantial when patient collections no longer take 30, 60, or 90+ days.
While there may still be some patients in your practice who are resistant to using a new system, a greater percentage of patients are becoming comfortable with self-service systems and many actually prefer them. Think about the self-checkout lines at the grocery store: oftentimes they have longer lines than the regular checkout lanes. The trend is heading in the direction of self-service, and technology is enabling that journey.
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