Busy healthcare facilities, hospitals and service-specific departments (laboratory, radiology and similar) often have to contend with frustrated patients as well as overburdened front desk teams. Long lines and congestion at the front desk during check in create an initially negative patient experience which can impact the healthcare organization’s bottom line. With more options today than ever before in terms of who a patient, and their family, can choose for their healthcare needs, it is essential to create the best first impression that you can when a patient arrives for their appointment. Starting out with a traffic jam at patient check in is not the peaceful, organized customer service experience your organization wants to present.
Besides continuing to rush patients through the check in process, or expanding your waiting room and hiring more staff which may not be feasible, what can you do to streamline the process? How can you create a relaxed environment for both your patients and your front desk staff?
The most cost effective, proactive approach is to utilize the self-service technology of a patient check in kiosk.
PATIENT CHECK IN KIOSK SOLUTIONS
A patient check in kiosk is an increasingly popular way to use self-service technology to assist your front desk staff. By allowing patients to check in for their appointments at an interactive kiosk, you free up the front desk to be able to provide a higher level of customer service when needed. This leads to increased patient satisfaction overall – with patients who may have been waiting on hold on the phone for long periods of time, or to those who may be standing in front of you in need of answers to pressing questions.
Those patients who do not require the immediate attention of your front desk staff are removed from the congestion of the line, and use the patient check in kiosk to announce to your team that they have arrived for their appointment. Now the focus of your front desk team is where it should be, on patients who require face-to-face, or phone-based customer service.
What is beautiful about patient check in kiosks is that the technology is something that the majority of people are already familiar with thanks to the touch screens on their smart phones. When someone comes upon an interactive kiosk, the instinct is to touch the screen. By adding a call-to-action custom graphic to your patient check-in kiosk telling them to “Check In Here”, and running our Qline software, you now have a complete self-service solution that will more than pay for itself with the increased productivity you will see in your office.
PATIENT FLOW DATA IN REAL TIME
It is not just that it will seem as though things have improved, but you will be able to view data on wait times, walk times (how long it takes your patients to walk into their appointment from where they are waiting), a leaver report of patients who checked in but didn’t stay for their appointment, the busy time which is how long they were in their appointment, and the total time. This data is incredibly useful for everything from staffing correctly at peak times to understanding how long patients are willing to wait for a scheduled appointment or a walk in service.
The patient experience is more important today than ever before and ensuring your healthcare facility remains both efficient, as well as cutting edge, is an ongoing process. Make sure you have the self-service technology tools in place to improve the experience for not only your patients, but also for your healthcare teams – those delivering your superior customer service and those caring for your patients’ medical needs.