The patient check-in process is one of the most important pieces of your practice. Not only is it the first impression for your patients but it is also a critical time when key information needs to be collected. With so many moving parts of the check-in process, having a kiosk in place can remove the possibility of human error when collecting this critical information from patients and also streamline the entire process.
Higher Costs, The Patient Experience, and Consumer Demand for Self-Service
Consumers are taking on more costs for their health care today than they have in previous years. The number of people covered by an employer-sponsored high-deductible health plan (HDHP) is increasing while almost 90% of enrollees in Affordable Care Act Marketplaces have a HDHP.
With consumers today taking on more costs for their health care bill than before, they're also demanding better technology, better processes, and better service overall. In fact, a recent study reported that 42% of consumers say personal experience is their top influencer for making healthcare decisions.
Consumer-directed healthcare is becoming more important with health systems and independent practices competing in local marketplaces for patients. Improving the patient experience is one way to stand out among the competition. This includes adopting self-service technologies that patients are demanding.
Patients Demand Self-Service Options
A 2007 survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation for NCR Corporation revealed that for patients between the ages of 55 and 64, registering at a clinic or hospital is the most-frustrating wait. Among all age groups, it ranked among the top three. The same survey indicated that 37 percent of patients were extremely or very interested in utilizing self-service options for registration, such as a kiosk, if they would help patients register more quickly.
Patients are demanding self-service options. The eClinicalWorks Kiosk empowers your patients while streamlining the check-in process, improving practice cash flow, and using staff time more efficiently.
The eClinicalWorks Kiosk app is a great way to streamline the check-in process in your practice. The app enables your patients to use an iPad to check in for an appointment, and even schedule a new, same-day appointment, conveniently. As part of checking in with the Kiosk app, your patients can quickly and privately update their demographic information (name, address, etc.) directly on the iPad.
All the information your patients validate or change is input directly to your practice’s electronic medical records system, ensuring its accuracy and saving you time.
The eClinicalWorks Kiosk technology allows patients to register themselves, process payments, update demographic information, sign consent forms, verify current insurance, and answer questions customized by the practice for their visit-all at the point of registration.
And with steep penalties in place for noncompliance, every organization under HIPAA should strive to protect patients' individual health information. Kiosks can reduce the liability and the costs associated with managing a paper-based consent process.
Shorter Wait Times
What other benefits does the eClinicalWorks kiosk deliver to patients? The kiosk greatly reduces the amount of paperwork your patients need to fill out leading to much shorter wait times.
Consider the following case study extracted from the NCR Corp which details the reduced wait times that The Medical Center of Central Georgia experienced after implementing a patient check-in kiosk.
The Medical Center of Central Georgia (MCCG) is a 600-bed acute care hospital that serves a 30-county area. MCCG is home to the Georgia Heart Center, which performs more than 1,100 heart surgeries each year. The hospital faced serious challenges in its patient intake and registration process. Registration bottlenecks led to some patients having to wait 20 to 25 minutes to see a registration clerk. Doctors’ time was wasted because they had to wait while patients cleared the registration process. The process created stress for the staff and resulted in staff turnover.
In 2007, the hospital began piloting information technology tools designed to create an electronic registration process. The system was built around electronic health records and self-service kiosks. The results have been eye-opening. Patient wait times have been reduced by about 20 minutes; doctors’ time is better utilized; staff morale has improved; and patient satisfaction scores are higher.
Benefits of the eCW Kiosk for Your Practice
Of course a check-in kiosk benefits patients but how does it benefit your practice? eClinicalWorks Kiosk offers multiple benefits to your practice. For one, you are going green so no more scanning to update patient demographics and consent forms.
Providing your patients with high-end technology like eClinicalWorks Kiosk also reinforces patients' perception of high quality care at your practice. And with more than 43 percent of NCR Survey respondents stating that they have chosen one medical provider over another because that provider offered self-service, why wouldn't you want to implement eClinicalWorks Kiosk?
With eCW Kiosk your patients are verifying their identity, updating their demographics, and verifying their most current insurance information on file. This alone can reduce the number of denials your revenue cycle sees caused by illegible, missing, or inaccurate information collected on paper.
More accurate information collected at the point of registration (including phone number and email address) combined with the ability to collect payments in the eCW Kiosk can not only reduce denials but also increase your collections. With eClinicalWorks Kiosk, Patients can settle outstanding balances and co-pays just by swiping their credit/debit card to make a payment, truly automating the check-in process.
Your practice can also ensure Meaningful Use compliance by collecting all of the demographics related to MU on the kiosk. You can also prompt patients to enroll for the Patient Portal helping you not only achieve Meaningful Use but also give patients the convenience of requesting appointments online, viewing lab results, requesting refills of authorized prescriptions, and more.
Ready to get started with the eClinicalWorks EHR Kiosk? Your practice can get started using Kiosk Check-In with these five easy steps.
1. Purchase an iPad 4 or iPad AIt running iOS 6 or higher from any brick-and-mortar or online store. You can buy your choice of iPad with iOS 6.0 and above from any store or online site.
2. Acquire an iPad enclosure or Windows-based kiosk from one of our vendor partners. eCW recommends securing your iPad in an enclosure for safety and protection.
3. Activate the Kiosk app by logging on to eCW EMR and activate Kiosk from the On Demand Activation tool.
4. Download eCW Kiosk app* from the App Store. Once the Kiosk Check-in app has been activated, the eClinicalWorks implementation team will contact you to help you understand the app and use it efficiently.