Archive August 2017 XVIII, No. 8

Ideas That Work: Self Check-In for Patients

registration IN CONTROL The kiosk gives patients control of the registration process, which helps to reduce the amount of time front-desk staff spend chasing paperwork.

Self Check-In for Patients

Our patients use a HIPAA-compliant patient check-in kiosk. Here's how it works: Patients sit down at the kiosk and scan their healthcare card or ID, which does a few things: It identifies the patient, confirms their appointment and leads them through the registration process, with options for English, Spanish and a Chinese dialect; it prompts them to answer questions about advance directives, compliance and demographics, the latter of which we need to collect for the state; it tells them their eligibility, their deductible and their co-pay; and it gives them the option to pay their copay with a credit card right there at the kiosk, which a lot of people do. We also ask for their email address, which we can use for survey distribution.

Check-in takes just a few minutes, and most patients seem to prefer using the kiosk because they feel more in control. We've cut down on the number of patients who have to spend time with our front desk, which means we're spending less time chasing paperwork. Some unexpected benefits came our way through the kiosk's insurance-verification engine: The automatic first-run verification of patient eligibility means we no longer have to log in and out of the multiple clearinghouse websites to verify coverage manually.

Getting started takes some IT setup and interface work, as well as some time building the scripts for your workflow. We spent $6,000 to $7,000 on the kiosk, and we pay a quarterly maintenance fee for the software. Based on the increase in cash collections at the time of service, a reduction in claim denials and other efficiencies, we estimate we saw a return on the investment within a year.

Helen Lowenwirth, MBA, CASC
East Side Endoscopy and Pain Management Center
New York, N.Y.

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