Healthcare Kiosks: Should You Use Them For Your Clinic?
Last Update: Dec 15, 2023
Workflow automation is slowly taking the stage in medical practices, and healthcare kiosks are among those taking the charge. 2020 saw 90% of major healthcare organizations around the world utilizing automation strategies, which is a substantial increase from a mere 53% in 2019.
While this leap was mainly due to COVID-19, the demand for workflow automation continues to grow. When it comes to healthcare kiosks, the question is whether or not the quality of the patient experience is retained in automation.
If you’re considering implementing healthcare kiosks as part of your front desk strategy, here’s what you need to know before making the switch
Can kiosks replace receptionists?
Grand View Research reported that the global market size for self-service healthcare kiosks in 2021 was estimated at USD 1.1 billion, which is expected to grow by 14.8% from 2022 to 2030. This means the use of kiosks as an alternative check-in method will increase.
However, are kiosks as effective as receptionists?
On one hand, self-service kiosks have advantages such as:
- A consistent check-in experience – Your patients receive the same check-in experience across all of your locations
- More efficient workflow – Kiosks make use of tools and automate internal processes such as recording, processing, and storing patient credentials
- Is easily deployed and implemented – Kiosks require little set-up time
On the other hand, self-service kiosks fall short on one critical aspect: human interaction.
Besides facilitating the check-in process, the role of the front desk is to establish trust with patients. Receptionists do this by warmly greeting patients, conversing with them, and reassuring them about their concerns.
Self-service kiosks lack the human touch. They’re unable to provide the same warmth and empathy as human receptionists. Automated kiosks are also very limited in dealing with complex interactions like patient concerns and scheduling issues.
Does this mean that kiosks are ineffective in enabling front desk operations? No – healthcare kiosks can be extremely effective. With a remote front desk solution like WelcomeWare, they can deliver the best of both worlds.
Benefits of healthcare kiosks with a virtual receptionist platform
A virtual receptionist platform enables your receptionists to operate your front desk remotely. When a patient interacts with a healthcare kiosk, a remote receptionist answers the query and live-streams themselves onto the kiosk screen to greet and engage with the patient.
Using a virtual receptionist platform can solve the pitfalls experienced when using a self-service kiosk while simultaneously addressing the challenges associated with employing in-person receptionists, such as:
- Availability – Receptionists on paid time off (PTO), sick leave, or dealing with sudden emergencies will leave your front desk empty
- Hiring, training, and retention – It takes 3-6 months to hire and train a new receptionist. However, the average tenure of a receptionist lasts between 6-12 months
- Utilization – Receptionists in specific locations may be underutilized due to low traffic
Healthcare kiosks powered by a virtual receptionist platform significantly enhance the patient experience more than in-person receptionists and self-service kiosks.
Here are 4 specific advantages that they provide:
1. Enables an always-available front desk
When a receptionist is unavailable other front desk staff can easily fill in for that receptionist.
This ensures that your patients are never left waiting at the front desk.
2. Retains the human touch
Patients are greeted by warm smiling receptionists on the screen of the kiosk. Removing the main drawback associated with self-service kiosks.Further, burnout associated with staff traveling to cover absent staff is eliminated.
3. Maximizes your current front desk staff
The right system will enable you to leverage your receptionists across multiple locations. Enabling you to maximize your talented receptionists for a consistent check-in experience while reducing overall headcount and therefore lowering your expenses.
Remote receptionist positions are becoming more compelling for receptionists. Companies that will support remote receptionist positions will see greater retention across their receptionist staff. Thus, remote receptionists tend to stay longer in companies due to the convenience of the work setup.
In addition, with a remote receptionist platform you can now hire highly-skilled receptionists who were previously inaccessible.
Should you use healthcare kiosks?
An ineffective front desk strategy is one of the main causes of administrative pain points in outpatient clinics. Self-service kiosks and in-person receptionists each have their own distinctive merits. However, on their own, they are insufficient to help resolve the operational issues that hinder your clinic.
Healthcare kiosks with a live virtual front desk platform combine the advantages of both options. They can be a vital ingredient in helping you maximize your productivity, increase your bottom line, and reduce costs.
Of course, the first step is choosing the correct virtual front desk platform. WelcomeWare is a dedicated live-streaming receptionist platform that is designed with the patient experience in mind. Reach out to us to learn how WelcomeWare can help you create a strong front desk strategy for your clinics.
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