Easing Front Desk Burden

October 1, 2007

I’m hoping to use more technology to decrease overhead. I’m envisioning a waiting-room computer for patients to use to check in. This hopefully will decrease the workload on front-office staff. We don’t have an EMR yet. Is there something out there similar to this?

Question: I’m hoping to use more technology to decrease overhead. I’m envisioning a waiting-room computer for patients to use to check in. This hopefully will decrease the workload on front-office staff. We don’t have an EMR yet. Is there something out there similar to this?

Answer: Sure, check-in kiosks abound. They work like the kiosks you’ll find at airports and hotels. Most will also collect copays via credit card for you.

Try galvanon.com (medikiosk) and otechgroupllc.com, just to name two examples. Also consider allowing patients to download new-patient forms and request appointment times from your Web site to reduce front-desk costs.

Another idea: Have front-desk staff use small scanners to capture insurance cards and driver’s license info. It saves them from walking to a copier, and since the data is stored electronically, it can be easier to access than if it were in a paper file.

Finally, ask your bank about using imaging technology to deposit checks. No one has to run to the bank (a job that often falls to the front-desk person or her back-up); you just scan and the deposit goes right into your account.