Every year, U.S. emergency departments see over 131 million visits, with an average wait time for care of nearly two and a half hours – and in some states much longer. While scheduled appointments have a shorter wait, leaving patients sitting in the waiting room for more than a few minutes can have a negative impact on patients’ overall satisfaction with their care.
There are many reasons for extended wait times in emergency departments and doctor’s offices, and an ongoing shortage of healthcare workers only exacerbates the problem. While many of these issues are out of healthcare providers’ control, modernizing a dated check-in process is one way to streamline operations, provide a better day-to-day patient experience, and help alleviate pressure from staff shortages.
A commitment to serving patients
Recently, a public healthcare system in New York City saw an opportunity to improve daily operations for patients and staff by automating their manual patient check-in process. Serving over one million New Yorkers each year, the organization had become bogged down with a lengthy check-in procedure that involved filling out paper forms and waiting in line to see a receptionist.
Not only was the traditional check-in process time consuming for staff and leading to long wait times for patients, but manual data entry left room for human error that could have serious consequences for patient care.
The solution to a dated check-in process
To address these issues, the healthcare system implemented Patient Check-In Kiosks manufactured by KIOSK Information Systems in its hospitals. The kiosks allow patients to check-in electronically, reducing the need for paper forms and manual data entry. Patients can use the kiosks to verify their personal information using integrated biometric scanning, pay copays, and sign consent forms.
KIOSK’s Patient Check-In solution is configurable and customizable so it can be integrated into each healthcare system’s unique workflow processes. Partnerships with multiple software providers allow Patient Check-In kiosks to be easily integrated with existing electronic healthcare records (EHR) providers.
Importantly, KIOSK’s Patient Check-In solution has been reviewed by a third party specializing in ADA compliance consulting. The standard Patient Check-In unit meets ADA standards for height and reach, and includes a navigation pad that makes the touchscreen kiosk accessible to users with low vision.
Results that benefit patients and providers
After deploying patient check-in kiosks, the New York hospitals saw several significant improvements in patient experience, staff satisfaction, and data accuracy.
The healthcare system reported a reduction in wait times by up to 60%, allowing patients to see their providers more quickly and reducing their overall time in the hospital. 99% of reception staff say they’ve seen an improvement in the check-in process, and 71% of facilities are above the target kiosk utilization rate.
Removing manual data entry from the check-in process has improved data accuracy and reduced the number of mismatches in patient identity. Additionally, when patients check-in to an appointment at a kiosk, they’re no longer required to call out private identifying information such as name, date of birth, and medical history, to receptionists in a crowded waiting room.
While not an initial goal of the check-in kiosk deployment, the healthcare system notes that the contactless check-in process helped support social distancing and reduced the risk of COVID-19 transmission, leading to a safer experience for patients and staff.
Though the height of the pandemic has waned, using kiosks for contactless check-in can help reduce transmission of seasonal viruses, an especially important consideration for healthcare staff who frequently interact with ill patients during cold and flu season.
Patient Check-In Kiosks have had impressive results in reducing wait time, supporting administrative staff, and improving the overall patient experience. While healthcare labor shortages continue to plague the industry, automating outdated manual processes is a crucial step to maintaining a positive patient experience and supporting staff.
Ready to modernize your patient check-in process? Contact KIOSK to learn how turnkey patient check-in kiosks can benefit your patients and providers.