Thursday, November 11, 2010

Self Check-In Healthcare

We're all familiar with the interactive kiosks these days. Certainly, they do not take the place of human interaction. They are one part of an overall customer experience Usually, they have been used to help with decreasing time - both to those receiving service and those providing the service.

In the 1990s, I used an ATM for the first time. I was shocked to know that people actually trusted their money could be deposited into this "box"and then show up in their bank account. Now it is unheard of to go to a bank without ATMs. It seems, people rarely go into backs these days. Airlines are another major utilizer of the kiosks. The craze has spread to self check-out counters in grocery stores, photo shops, and now fast food restaurants. We are even seeing more in the healthcare sector including the utilization of "notebook tablets" replacing the typical sign-in "clipboard" and paperwork pile. Much more even takes place on-line to reduce time. Southwest Airlines is definitely one of the companies I am most impressed with as it comes to leading the way for the customer experience based on what is most important to their customers. They were one of the leaders in terms of their phone systems where customers would rarely wait on the line more than a few seconds. When you speak with their employees, the employees focus on safety, ensuring that the planes are turned around within a designated timeframe. They also know that they needed to keep the cost of service down and provide a great experience so customers will return. They were one of the first using kiosks and currently one of the best in terms of on-line check-in, making it easier to use them as your airline carrier.

In our hospital, we will be exploring some of these various options as another way to build on the experience for those we serve and decrease the amount of non-value added time it takes to provide the service. I'm interested in your perspective. I'll keep you posted as we investigate further.

1 comment:

  1. About a year ago I accompanied a friend with cancer to Johns Hopkins hospital for her chemotherapy, and she used a kiosk to check in with an ID card she had been given. It was convenient and quick, but I was put off when it wouldn't allow her to be checked in until she had paid some part of her bill that was outstanding (maybe a copay or something). It made me wonder what the true purpose of the kiosk was - patient (I refuse to call them customers) service, or enhancement of collections.

    bev M.D.