Devices

July 25, 2008

Kaiser Permanente has installed its first self-check-in electronic kiosk for patients at a Southern California medical clinic.

Kaiser Permanente has installed its first self-check-in electronic kiosk for patients at a Southern California medical clinic.

Kaiser members will be able to use the touch-screen kiosks to check in for appointments, make credit and debit card payments, and update contact information, according to a statement from Oakland, CA-based company.

The company expects to eventually add the kiosks to more than 60 medical clinics in Southern California. The kiosk pilot project is part of an electronic health system initiative Kaiser has dubbed “HealthConnect.”

From the kiosks, patients can print out walking directions to their appointment rooms. Customers can access the kiosks in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese, according to the statement.

“Individuals will be able to swipe their standard-issue member card in the kiosk to check in for their appointments, thereby avoiding long lines, especially during peak hours of operation,” says Dr. Benjamin Chu, president of Kaiser Permanente Southern California, in the statement. “This will also allow staff more time to serve patients who have questions or complex service issues.”

The company plans to add “additional functionality” to the kiosks, such as the ability for patients to fill out health assessment forms and questionnaires that would feed into their medical records, says Lydia Howard, an internal consultant with Kaiser. In the future, patients may also be able to schedule follow-up appointments via the kiosks, she says.

The first kiosk was installed in Kaiser’s Rancho Cucamonga medical office building. Hawaii and Northern California are the mostly likely regions to next see the kiosks, Howard says.