People love user-friendly touch-screen devices, but they don't want to download a separate app for everything they do.
That's why touch-screen kiosks in doctors' offices and other healthcare facilities offer a great solution. Users don't have to download anything, but they can still use a familiar interface to get the information and functionality they need.
In healthcare, where user accessibility is a must for patients, families, and providers, user-friendly options like touch-screen kiosks are essential. Healthcare providers can use a kiosk with a language module to help people find information in multiple languages, much like the City of San Francisco does. Plus, nurses and hospital staff, already overwhelmed by responsibility, can spend their time on more significant tasks while kiosks tell visitors how to get around. And kiosks can be especially helpful navigation tools for visitors with disabilities.
By implementing these kiosks in three areas — registration, provider interactions, and facility navigation — healthcare providers can improve the experience for everyone involved.
Registration and Check-In
In many waiting rooms, patients still fill out paper forms and give them to the office staff to enter into computers. Kiosks, on the other hand, allow patients to check in, sign policies and documents, provide information, make payments, and more all on their own.
This implementation of kiosks helps healthcare administrators cut down on wait times, processing times, and office supply costs. Kiosks automatically add patients to a queue and track wait times, freeing staff to answer questions and provide help to people who need it most. For example, Kaiser Permanente locations use self-service kiosks for patient check-in, bill pay, and information updates.
These capabilities increase patient satisfaction, which is a big deal for physicians. On Vitals, which allows patients to review doctor experiences, five-star doctors average around 13-minute wait times, while one-star doctors' wait times average around 34 minutes. Reducing wait times improves the patient experience and keeps those patients coming back.
Doctor and Nurse Interactions
Consumers demand transparency at every turn, and healthcare is no different. With kiosks, doctors and nurses can provide more engaging care for their patients everywhere from the checkup room to labs.
Kiosks can help medical staff members ensure they follow checklists and never miss important components of patient care. For instance, kiosks in visiting rooms can record diet, exercise, restroom, and therapy sessions so all parties can see the status of care. Insurance carriers appreciate knowing when hospitals follow protocol, so touch-screen kiosks can even eliminate miscommunications regarding coverage and claims.
During checkups, patients and doctors can work together on kiosks to ensure patient information is accurate and go over new data such as labs and diagnoses. When doctors only see patients for an average of 13 to 24 minutes each visit, these smart tools allow both sides to get up to speed quickly and spend more of their time talking about care and treatment — and less time catching up on basic information.
Navigation and Maps
With ever-larger healthcare facilities, patients can easily get lost. But kiosks can help patients navigate buildings to find the right offices and rooms without frustration. Providers benefit, as well, by tracking down unfamiliar meeting places and patient rooms. Hospitals can even integrate kiosks with apps and emergency services to help visitors get to where they need to go as quickly as possible.
Signage is useful, but the interactive nature of touch-screen kiosks makes them much more practical in hospital environments. One study from Emory University found that lost patients cost the hospital $220,000 per year. Kiosks clear up the confusion of hospital mazes for patients and visitors.
People with disabilities can benefit from touch-screen kiosks, too. For example, someone in a wheelchair can ask the screen to lower the buttons and information. A person with sight troubles can ask for larger text or for directions to be read aloud. American Disabilities Act compliance in hospitals is critical to ensure everyone has equal access to wayfinding and other important information.
Touch-screen kiosks offer a simple, effective solution for healthcare providers of all sizes. Patients get the information they need, providers deliver faster care, and administrative staff members spend less time on repetitive tasks and more time helping their organizations run smoothly. By implementing these technology solutions now, healthcare companies can realize immediate savings and prepare to meet increasingly stringent consumer demands for convenience in care.
Tony Scherba is a CEO + Founding Partner at Yeti. Tony has been developing software since high school and has worked on digital products for global brands such as Google, MIT, Qualcomm, Hershey’s, Britney Spears and Harmon/Kardon. Tony’s writing about innovation and technology has been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post and Inc. At Yeti, Tony works on strategy, product design and day to day operations, hopping in and working with the development teams when needed. Follow Tony on Twitter.