When it comes to improving patient care and reducing the time it takes to complete common tasks, self-service kiosks are one of the most popular options available. If you’re unfamiliar with these devices, they’re a type of computer terminal that allows patients and employees to complete basic tasks (like checking email or booking appointments) from within a hospital or other healthcare facility. Using food ordering kiosks in hospitals is an excellent way to improve your operations while simultaneously reducing costs by automating certain processes.
Let’s explore more about how these systems can be beneficial for both your business and patients:
What Is a Self-Service Kiosk?
A self-service kiosk is a type of computer terminal that allows patients and employees to complete basic tasks from within a hospital or other healthcare facility. They have been called “alternatives to nurses,” and they are particularly helpful for patients who are unable to visit a physical office. Patients can use computer kiosks to check email, make appointments, or schedule medical appointments. These devices are especially helpful for geriatric patients or those with certain medical conditions that make it difficult for them to visit an office or clinic for routine visits.
For example, a patient with mobility issues might find it easier to check in at a self-service kiosk than visit an actual office. But self-service kiosks aren’t only useful for elderly patients. Using a kiosk to schedule an appointment can be beneficial for anyone who is unable to visit a doctor regularly, such as a new mother who isn’t able to travel every few weeks to get blood work done.
Why Use Self-Service Kiosks in Hospitals?
Self-service kiosks are becoming more common at healthcare facilities and are worth considering for a few reasons. First, they reduce expenses by automating certain processes that used to be handled by employees. This can help reduce your payroll costs and free up staff members to focus on more complex tasks, like helping patients or conducting research.
Self-service kiosks can also help improve patient care by reducing the time it takes to complete common tasks. For example, some hospitals have implemented self-service kiosks that enable patients to check their lab results, schedule a doctor’s appointment, or pay their hospital bills all from the same station.
Self-service kiosks can also be a good option for remote or solo healthcare providers who don’t have a large number of patients to serve. Some systems allow providers to set up virtual “physician offices” that patients can visit in order to book appointments or receive medical care.
3 benefits of self-service kiosks for patient care
- Decreased wait times – Using a self-service kiosk can help reduce wait times for certain medical tests or procedures that used to take days to schedule. For example, some hospitals have implemented self-service kiosks that enable patients to check their lab results, schedule a doctor’s appointment, or pay their hospital bill all from the same station.
- Less paperwork – An advantage of using self-service kiosks is that they can reduce the amount of paperwork that patients need to complete. For example, patients can often use a kiosk to check their lab results or schedule a doctor’s appointment, which can help them avoid having to send stacks of paper and faxes back to the office.
- Better communication between providers and patients – A virtual “physician office” that users can visit using a self-service kiosk can help improve communication between providers and their patients. Virtual visits can help patients stay organized and reduce their risk of forgetting to call or visit their doctor.
3 ways to use food ordering kiosks in healthcare
- Ordering medications – Many hospitals and clinics already offer self-service medication dispensing kiosks that allow patients to refill their prescriptions.
- Writing medical orders – Some medical offices have implemented self-service stations that enable patients to write medical orders for each other. For example, one hospital partnered with a local nursing home to offer patients a self-service station that allowed them to order meals for the elderly residents of the nursing home.
- Paying bills – Some healthcare providers have implemented self-service kiosks that allow patients to pay their bills, including hospital bills and insurance deductibles.
How does a self-service kiosk work?
Self-service kiosks usually consist of a series of touch screens that enable users to complete tasks by mimicking the look and feel of a computer terminal. These systems are often controlled by a computer that monitors usage, interacts with the Internet, and tracks data. The computer system usually grants access to the system based on an online user account, which can be managed by human staff members. Self-service kiosks usually have limited hours of operation and are accessible only to authorized users. Some systems grant users access based on a Digital Access Policy that you can use to control who has access to patient data. You can also use a Self-Service Access Policy to manage who has access to certain tasks.
Should you use food ordering kiosk in healthcare?
Food ordering kiosks can be a great option for hospitals that offer meal services to patients or staff members. These systems can help you manage your food service costs by automating certain processes, resulting in fewer lost or forgotten orders, and less wear-and-tear on equipment.
Steps to Set Up a Self-Service Kiosk for Healthcare Operations
- Choose a self-service kiosk platform – Decide whether you want to integrate your food ordering system with an existing POS system or implement a standalone system. It’s important to consider the costs associated with each option and the impact it will have on your operations.
- Choose a location for the self-service kiosk – Decide where the self-service kiosk will be located within the facility. You can use an in-house resource to help you decide where to place the kiosk.
- Plan for capacity – With a standalone system, you’ll need to plan for how many users you’ll have and how many transactions there will be per day. With an integrated system, you may be able to adjust your parameters based on the service provider’s offerings.
- Confirm vendor compatibility – Once you’ve chosen the vendor, confirm that they are compatible with your system and will work with your vendor.
- Confirm activation date – Confirm that the activation date for your kiosks has been submitted to your vendor.
- Monitor usage – Track how many users log into the kiosk and how often they use it, which can help you fine-tune your operations.
Self-service kiosks can help hospitals and healthcare organizations reduce costs by automating certain processes and freeing up staff members to focus on more complex tasks, like helping patients and conducting research. These systems can also help improve patient care by reducing the time it takes to complete common tasks, like scheduling doctor’s appointments or writing medical orders. However, food ordering kiosks are not a cure-all for all healthcare issues, and they do have some potential drawbacks.
EZ-Chow has solutions such as an Online Ordering, Self-Ordering Kiosks and Rewards/Loyalty Solutions that integrate into your existing POS systems. To learn how EZ-Chow can help you with these initiatives and more, get started by contacting us here.