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Patient Check-In Technologies Cut Cost, Wait Times

Anna Webster, for HealthLeaders Media, February 28, 2011

After observing paper chart check-ins for 15 years as director of The Baylor Prostate Center in Houston,Kevin Slawin, MD, founder of the Vanguard Urologic Institute, says the number of lost charts and data errors declines with technology solutions such as Medikiosk.

"It lessens the work that I wouldn't consider high value and the patients can do itbetter. I think job satisfaction is higher when you are doing more interesting work," he says.

Slawin says the technology also gives administrators greater control over the practice. For example, administrators can monitor waiting times and patient satisfaction. As part of the check-in process, patients are given the opportunity to fill out a brief satisfaction survey. The 2010 results found:

  • 39.25% of patients found check-in easy
  • 53.39% of patients found check-in average
  • 7.37% of patients found check-in difficult

In 2010, Vanguard saw an average of 15.28 patients per day and the average patient wait time was 2.44 minutes---the national average is 21.3 minutes, according to a 2010 NCR case study.

"On days when patients are rating check-in as difficult we can monitor that and adjust staffing as necessary to fix any problems," says Joe Reyes, Vanguard’s manager of technology and health informatics.

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1 comments on "Patient Check-In Technologies Cut Cost, Wait Times"


Patrick Pichette (2/28/2011 at 1:41 PM)
Great post Anna! I am glad that you highlighted the fact that patient self-service technologies can create measurable efficiencies for hospitals, as is evident with the Vanguard story. We have a similar success story in Canada. Southlake, a hospital near Toronto, was able to redistribute 12 FTEs from their registration area to other sections of the hospital, and saved $400K in annual operations costs with a process redesign and by using patient online registration and check-in kiosk. Case study can be found here: http://bit.ly/egwb9b