With the passage of the Patient Affordable Care Act, Healthcare is on the forefront of everyone's mind. Politicians are debating the value. Businesses are evaluating the economic climate and impact and how it will impact their growth and staffing. Consumers are watching, waiting to understand what it means and how it impacts them and their wallets.
Whatever the outcome, as the population grows, so too does the expectation of service in a crowded, lean marketplace. I don’t know about you, but for me, this is the perfect storm for self-service.
Meridian has designed and manufactured self-service solutions for healthcare for many years. We've designed and deployed patient check in, self-pay, blood pressure checkpoints, directory boards, wayfinding, bill-pay and digital signage solutions. The styles and components have changed over the years and become more streamlined. Over the next five years, many changes are expected and now more than ever I believe we need to think innovatively about the next generation healthcare space.
As I watch the news about healthcare changes, brainstorm with our design engineers about new concepts and walk through our manufacturing facility looking at current deployments, I envision the next generation of healthcare. There are multiple solutions that can be utilized such as:
- Patient check in – already an effective solution providing the ability to self-check in for appointments
- Medical Triage – many small items can be taken independently and combined into a self-service solution such as blood pressure, weight and height
- Physician communication portal – this solution could be used to communicate and document the purpose of the patient visit and input questions.
- Patient checkout –already an effective solution providing the ability to checkout, submit insurance and pay for service.
- Pharmacy - a self-service solution to scan a prescription into the pharmacy or a separate medication dispensary overseen by a qualified pharmacist.
- Directory/Wayfinding – this is already a successful self-service solution to help guide and direct patient flow to appropriate areas in the hospital.
- Nutritional planning kiosk - nutrition is a huge piece of healthcare and can impact positively or negatively patient health. Healthcare facilities could incorporate nutritional planning kiosks into wellness programs with recipes, cholesterol checks, weight loss and shopping lists.
- Weigh-in – with two-thirds of the adult population being overweight, a weight loss self-service kiosk could provide extended options for weight management and goal obtainment
- Patient communication portal – Patient satisfaction is evaluated in healthcare but performance is hard to document retroactively. A patient communication kiosk could provide opportunities for surveys and real-time feedback on staff.
There are many minor interactions within healthcare that can be automated to make more accessible 24/7 for patient health. Technology is integrated more and more into our everyday lives. The population is growing as is the need and requirement to service their health.
I remain optimistic for the innovation and growth in healthcare self-service solutions. As long as we design and build solutions that are easily adapted to every day, able to engage consumers and provide a reliable, interactive experience – the adaptation rate will be positive and a greater number of people can be served.
Chris Gilder, CEO & Founder of Meridian, brings more than 20 years of entrepreneurial successes to the senior management team. His vision and drive to succeed has led Meridians double digit growth for well over a decade. Meridian has been recognized as the leader in the self-service kiosk industry and an innovator with the development of the Self Service Technology Center in partnership with Intel, HP, Microsoft, Zebra Technologies and Storm.