Changes to Make Kiosks More Administrator Friendly

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Kiosks are transforming the customer service experience for patients.  However, the importance of making kiosks more administrator friendly is often overlooked.  Patients can only have an optimized customer service experience using kiosks if administrators can easily access them as well.  Administrators need to be able to complete front-end tasks as efficiently as possible.  Toward that end, several helpful features enhance ease-of-use by staff.

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  • Convenience in accessing kiosks motivates staff to use them.  Staff should be able to spend far less time completing tedious front-end tasks.  User-friendly interfaces allow employees to quickly locate information and understand the data they receive.  Staff should be able to avoid the redundancy that occurs with less-advanced data systems when administrators have to enter the same information repeatedly or fill out duplicate forms.  Some successful systems even enable administrators to configure certain settings according to user preferences.  For best results, kiosks should be compatible with other data systems, namely EHRs, to give administrators streamlined,comprehensive access to patient data.
  • Administrators need to be able to easily view the appointment schedule.  They should have an idea of expected patient volume and be able to confirm patient registration information beforehand, if it's available.  They also need to know which patients have appointments that day so practitioners can review their health records before the appointment.  
  • Staff should be able to verify a patient's enrollment in a health insurance plan, preferably before the time of service or whenever the patient provides payer information.  Administrators can quickly confirm and update this information in real-time.
  • Administrator friendly kiosks enable staff to see when a patient has made a payment and view all aspects of patient accounts.   They need to be able to track claims, determine how much patients owe, and see when payment is due.  They should also be informed when automated alerts and reminders have been sent, so they know how to follow up if needed.
  • Furthermore, staff should be equipped to manage exceptions in real-time, so they can adjust co-pays or previous balances on the portal right away.   Immediate access means administrators can perform these tasks with minimal workflow interruptions.  

Secondary Benefits

While incorporating user-friendly features has obvious advantages, there are indirect benefits, too.  Maximum access to information allows staff to monitor workflow, measure their progress, and make changes if necessary.

Since kiosks allow patients to check-in independently, staff have more time for front-end responsibilities and assisting patients who need help registering.  When staff have streamlined access to kiosks, they feel more confident about using them.  Thus empowered, they're in a better position to educate patients about how to use them.  Patients will feel more comfortable engaging with the kiosks and are therefore more likely to provide complete and accurate information that further simplifies and expedites front-end-tasks.

Administrator access is especially important as kiosks play an increasingly vital role in evolving telehealth services.  In today's fast-paced environment, patients are saving time and money by consulting with providers without seeing them in person.  Staff members may have few or no face-to-face encounters with these patients, so it's even more critical that they have ready access to all needed information.  

When considering how to make kiosks more administrator friendly, ask yourself how they can best be configured to maximize front-end productivity.   Transparency and ease-of-use are just as important for administrators as they are for patients.   Implementing the necessary improvements will maximize revenue, improve morale among staff, and make it easier for your practice to adapt to changes and innovations that are an inevitable part of the healthcare industry.