|Your calendar alarm goes off, reminding you that you have a doctor appointment in 15 minutes. You take another sip of coffee and get back to work. Ten minutes later, you get up and make your way down the office hallway to the blue and white kiosk located at its end. You go inside and you’re greeted by your doctor’s smiling face on the monitor directly in front of you. “OK,” she says, “let’s start with your blood pressure. How’ve you been feeling?”That used to sound like a scene from a science fiction movie, but today it’s the next step in the evolution of healthcare. The offsite kiosk is giving healthcare providers the means to give their patients a level of convenience and personal attention they haven’t experienced since the days of house calls, but at a much larger scale. The exam room has officially left the building and it’s coming to you.|
It’s about access.
“There’s a tremendous challenge with access to care, and it’s getting worse due to the expanding demand for primary care due to an aging population and healthcare reform,” Jason Gorevic, CEO of Teladoc, recently told Wired Magazine. His Internet company allows individuals to talk with a doctor via phone or video chat around the clock.
The need for convenient access is driving the creation of healthcare kiosks that provide a wide variety of services ranging from basic diagnostic services to primary care to limited urgent care. Companies like HealthSpot® and SoloHealth® are placing kiosks in retail stores, pharmacies, offices, and other locations to create a self-service model that gives people the ability to access healthcare as easily as they shop for groceries.
It’s about making things easier.
For the offsite kiosk to be successful, it needs to be three things: easy, convenient, and inexpensive. “We want people to have an experience with healthcare like they do with their iPhone® or iPad®,” HealthSpot CEO Steve Cashman told Wired. With the HealthSpot system, for $60 or $70 an individual can book an appointment with a mobile app, then show up at the kiosk that’s most convenient for them and virtually see the doctor. At the conclusion of the appointment, the healthcare data is uploaded to servers and incorporated into an electronic healthcare record that can be accessed by the patient anytime they want.
The kiosk is a doorway to a better overall patient experience.
The offsite kiosk is all about giving people access to healthcare and connecting them to real doctors that can address their needs. If you’re considering exploring how an offsite kiosk could work for your organization, here are a few tips to get you started:
- Hone in on what services you need to offer. Kiosks can be used for something very specific, like scheduling appointments, or they can be used to perform a complete primary care exam. The key is to evaluate how a kiosk could provide real value for your customers and your organization. Once you’ve assessed the needs, it’s time to rally the troops to spread the word. Promote the arrival and offerings of the new kiosk by putting its name and information on customized hand sanitizers or water bottles to remind them to talk about the new kiosk and its benefits.
- Consider where you need to meet your customers. Depending on your organization, “convenience” can mean different things. Ask the questions: Where are your customers on a regular basis? Would being there create additional access and convenience for them? Once you’ve set up your new kiosk, tell your customers where it is located. Give them a customized pedometer with the address of your kiosk on it. Or use customized bandages at your primary facility to encourage a conversation with your customers about the new kiosk and its location.
- Don’t forget about privacy. Whatever decision you make about an offsite kiosk, don’t forget about privacy concerns. Whether this is a simple diagnostic kiosk located at a pharmacy, or a full-fledged primary care kiosk at a local school, you’ll be collecting and storing medical data. People using the kiosk in a public place may not want others to see their information on-screen. It also means that you’ll need to worry about maintaining HIPPA-compliance. Reassure your customers that their information is secure by sending them a first aid kit or reflective stickers that indicate they are safe using this new technology.
As people continue to get more and more comfortable with technology and technology-related privacy concerns, many will choose a self-service model for healthcare that provides more convenient access to services. Offering an offsite kiosk that addresses your customers needs at the right place and at the right time cannot only enhance your customers’ experience, but also helps alleviate strain on your organization from increased demand.
Peharda, Kresimir. “10 Healthcare Trends to Watch in 2013.” MedCity News. MedCity Media LLC, 31 Dec. 2012. Web. 19 Mar. 2013.
Hernandez, Daniela. “HealthSpot Wants to Be the Apple App Store of Robo-Medicine.”Wired.com. Conde Nast Digital, 07 Jan. 0013. Web. 19 Mar. 2013.