Automated patient check-in systems refer to software that streamlines the entire healthcare deployment system. They’re usually used in hospitals, clinics, or any other medical center that caters to a steady inflow of patients.
When people think of healthcare automation, the first thought that pops into our heads is medical robots. But, in reality, software such as these is the perfect example of healthcare automation. They use Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies to store, monitor and deploy medical records and services.
While AI has been pioneering the path forward in the healthcare industry, we tend to overestimate its value more often than not. In this article, we will take a deep dive into the various benefits and challenges that come with the use of such systems.
Benefits of Patient Self Check-in Systems
Faster patient turnover
Usually, in clinics, the biggest problem that patients face is the extensive wait time. With the realities of life getting in the way, it seems to be a significant hindrance.
By employing a patient self check-in system, you could reduce the turnover time. The patients can enter their information by themselves, leading to much more accurate information, and your employees could use this time saved for demanding tasks.
The patient journey is a critical aspect of their experience with you as their healthcare provider. A seamless experience could change their perception of your service.
Check-in with patients automatically
One of the most tedious administrative tasks is booking appointments and following up with patients regularly. Each patient has their own set of issues and requires a different level of hands-on service.
When you employ an automated patient check-in system, it allows the patient to book/ confirm appointments with ease, stores their data on a singular server, and sends automated follow-up messages. This helps you provide superior quality service and helps your patients feel seen.
Reduce administrative burden
Healthcare administration is the driving force of any clinic. A significant part of the process can be regulated through automated patient check-in systems. You can optimize time-consuming billing and data retrieval processes for high efficiency.
For e.g., when a patient comes to the patient kiosk, the bills are generated automatically, and they can pay using any online method, making it quick and easy for both parties. This also reduces the possibility of missed payments and repeated payment reminders.
Improve patient experience
The entire process is streamlined and quick, from booking their appointment to making their payments and providing feedback. It gives the patient more consultation time with the doctor and prevents any administrative hassles during the process.
Improve the quality of care
There is a significant improvement in the quality of care because the patient has increased access to the healthcare provider. Along with that, they also have real-time access to their medical records. The clinics can automate their follow-up days with the patient and check in with them as and when needed.
In addition to that, they can monitor them regularly because these automated systems can fit in with the patient’s digital monitors. All the information is readily available, making the service much more comprehensive.
Challenges of Patient Self Check-in Systems
Perceived as emotionally distant
Most patients who are not used to such self check-in systems might consider it is interfering with the actual service. The first point of contact between the patient and the clinic decides how they perceive the entire experience. If that technology is introduced at this juncture, that opportunity is lost.
It’s mainly an issue with older patients who are used to walking into a clinic and being greeted by a nurse or a receptionist. It removes the human connection associated with these interactions.
It might be hard to adapt to
Technology is confusing at times, and when implemented, it could pose an issue for the administration and patient alike. Some staff members might not be familiar with how a particular software works or may forget their passwords which would only disrupt the process.
Also, since patient data management relies on a cloud server, there is a possibility of a mix-up of records or potential data leaks in due course. The mismanagement could occur when documents are being updated or stored. If the data is not backed up (due to some error), you could lose critical patient records.
On the other hand, patients who are not used to or comfortable with technology might find it hard to understand. Especially for those for whom English is their second language, it could pose an actual barrier. Sometimes, the application’s user interface in itself can be a problem.
Potential for mismanagement
As mentioned earlier, because it might be hard to adapt to, there is a lot of potential for mismanagement. This is particularly an issue for clinic staff who are unsure how to operate the system and manage the records.
Also, there are many compliance requirements that administrators need to take care of. If not done correctly, there could be massive repercussions down the line.
Potential security issues
Many patients feel uncomfortable keying their information into a digital system simply because they’re afraid of a data breach. Data breaches have become common over the years, and with electronic health records being a massive target, it’s not an invalid concern.
To implement these measures, it’s always recommended to have a dedicated IT team to deal with these issues, leading to increased costs.
The integration of technology in the healthcare delivery space is still in its early stages of implementation. That being said, there is an increased focus on providing value-based patient care that transforms how patient experience is being delivered. With the electronic health records (EHR) adoption rate standing at 89%, some value is provided.
Automated patient check-in systems could be the driver that could streamline your entire business and help you focus on your patients rather than the business side of it. Although there are a few cons concerning adopting the technology, you can overcome those over time with better systems and training in place. It’s best to assess the benefits and challenges before implementing them.
If you’re looking to increase your clinic’s efficiency while creating more positive patient experiences, reach out to us today. Let us transform your clinic using technology that doesn’t hamper your business.