The UAB Department of Surgery, Division of Orthopaedic Surgery implemented the use of registration kiosks effective April 14, 2016. The vendor is Clearwave, Inc. from Atlanta. Clearwave has clients in over 30 states and has proven successful in verifying patient demographics and insurance information in real time plus successfully interfacing with multiple billing and registration systems. The goal of the kiosks was to provide a more rapid check-in for patients with musculoskeletal conditions, improve overall patient satisfaction, and financially increase payments at time of service. There are six kiosks at UAB Orthopaedics with four being freestanding and two being table/desk mounted for patient convenience. The first day of operation saw over 200 patients check-in with the overall check-in time reduced to less than three minutes per patient. Patients commented on the reduction of paperwork being a very nice change. There does not appear to be any intimidation with the new system and a focus on expeditiousness with the patients.
The metrics we identified in February prior to go-live included the increasing of point of service collections looking at 6 and 12-month averages, reducing measurable check-in times, monitoring insurance verification, improving MPCAHPS scores over the next twelve months, and seeking feedback from front line registration at six and twelve-month intervals on the improvements.
May 2016 point of service collections increased to an average of $2,074 per day compared to less than $1,600 per day for the prior six months. Average check-in times have decreased from a total of six to seven minutes to the aforementioned less than three minutes. Average check-in times for returning patients are now less than one minute, twenty seconds. The very important demographic information has also improved at the kiosks with the adding of a primary care physician contact (277 in two months), capturing on an e-mail address for an invitation to the patient portal (708 in two months), and providing of either a primary or secondary telephone number in case of appointment changes (over 900 in two months).
Specific patient quotes from Press Ganey have included, “I loved the self-registration stations. They were well manned, yet easy to use without assistance.” “The sign-in procedure with the computer terminal was quick and easy.” “I was very pleased with the registration process. The staff were especially pleasing to work with.”
Overall, the patients and staff have been very adaptable and have stated that there is no desire to ever go back to the more tedious manual paper-based processes. The kiosks are still in their infancy and we will continue to strive to make more operational improvements in the future as we seek to provide a quality patient experience.