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Eliminating Slow Patient Check-in and Waiting

Feb 26

Written by:
2/26/2014 1:52 AM  RssIcon

Eliminating Slow Patient Check-in and Waiting

One of the highly frustrating experiences that patients encounter—and that fosters a bad impression—is a slow patient check-in for a scheduled appointment. Savance Health can expedite this process, and thereby improve patient satisfaction (which is a key factor in continued provider inclusion on the part of insurance carriers). According to a fact-sheet on "Older Persons' Health" of the Centers for Disease Control, there were 298 million outpatient visits in 2010 by persons age 65 and up—precisely those who have the least capacity to cope with a slow patient check-in and/or long wait time for healthcare. Likewise, toddlers can become irritable in waiting rooms, and act disruptively.

For patients awaiting physical therapy or tests in hospitals, clinics, or private offices, enduring discomfort while seated in a waiting area can be an annoying experience—especially when anticipating a scheduled pick-up afterwards by a senior ride service or family member. The length of the wait-time shouldn't be the primary memory patients have of visiting your facility (whether a physical therapy office or other healthcare setting) as this can reflect badly on your patient satisfaction rating.

The Savance Health hipaa patient sign in kiosk (utilizing patient sign-in software) simplifies the registration process by enabling patients to enter required information themselves (i.e., name, address, medications, etc.) in a HIPAA-compliant system. By requiring a unique ID, the information is available only to those who have been granted permission—such as the patient's healthcare practitioner. Instead of standing online to register in-person with a harried receptionist, patients who have knee-joint arthritis, are recovering from hip replacement surgery, or are unsteady on their feet (as is the case for so many elders), can relax a moment and then be ushered into their appointment—or access the receptionist more easily to ask questions. This can free the receptionist to perform phone scheduling and billing tasks.

The Savance Health patient check-in was successfully installed at Children's Hospital of Central California (along with our patient sign-in software), and subsequently expanded into a comprehensive patient tracking system. Their positive feedback is exemplified in the following quote by the Operations Manager (Donna Yoshida): "The implementation was extremely smooth."

A smooth-flowing waiting room can be attained by limiting the need for support staff to interact with each patient to know who is present or failed to show up (as well as obtain patient information). Bacteria are easily spread in bottle-necked waiting rooms—and seniors and infants are most at risk in these circumstances. "Make more space in waiting rooms" to prevent flu transmission is the recommendation of the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). Patients undergoing chemotherapy are more susceptible to catching viral illnesses from others. Who wouldn't feel guilty—as a healthcare provider—wondering if a patient caught a transmissible illness in a waiting room? Speedy patient check-in with resultant reduction in long waiting times can remove this as a possible factor.

Upon entering a health-related facility that has a Savance Health kiosk, patients can quietly self-register (or staff can assist them), and—because of the Savance Health pre-installed software—the database in which the data is securely stored can be utilized by the physician at a distance from the seated patient. At a later time, there is no need for staff to wonder which patients failed to show up—and which owe a cancellation fee.

The Savance Health patient sign in software can aid staff in managing the flow of patients and improve waiting room experiences for patients as well as friends and family accompanying them.

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