Ray Kinsella, the Kevin Costner character in "Field of Dreams", believes if you build it, they will come. And every health care facility has a patient kiosk believer whispering the same mantra.
Patient check-in kiosks can have a great ROI, increase patient satisfaction, increase payment collections and shorten lines. Or, they can stand unused in the corner collecting dust. What separates the two? In my experience, it's more like real estate than movies. Instead of assuming "they will come", deployers should be thinking "location, location, location!"
A few months ago, I was meeting with a high-level executive at a huge health care group whose kiosk usage numbers were in the basement. Among her many problems was the kiosks' location, which had been determined by an internal network guy based on where it was easiest to place the broadband outlet.
The exec just couldn't understand why people weren't using them; she loved them and expected clients to use them just for the fun and exploration of it – like she did. But the reality was while other deployments we had done recently were experiencing 60 to 80 percent or more utilization, her group's kiosks were getting single-digit usage.
Oh, if only love were enough to ensure success.
Many factors go into a successful health care deployment, but none is more critical than kiosk placement. Getting placement right is part science and part nuance. And a pinch of dogged persistence.
Front & center: If you want kiosks to be used, put them front and center. Think about the airlines. You have to run a gauntlet of check-in kiosks to get to a live person. People, like water, will always choose the path of least resistance.
Form follows function: We work with a lot of architects who like to tuck kiosks into little cubbies off to the side because it looks nice. Nice, schmice. Put your statues into softly lighted alcoves, but put your kiosks out front and center. If your kiosks don't look good enough to be out in the front of the department, get better looking kiosks. Yes, they are out there.
Do a quality site walk: Many clients spend hundreds of hours planning for their kiosk deployment, and then overlook one of the most critical steps – a comprehensive site walk to plan placement. Too often placement is based on where a network jack happens to be located or can be easiest installed. Whoa! Invest in a solid site walk that includes analysis of traffic flow, marketing opportunities, visibility and ease of patient use. Once those factors have triangulated the perfect location, call the electrician to drop the power.
Patient kiosks can be a really effective addition to health care facilities, but they can't be deployed like a pile of equipment with a presumption of use. Like any other initiative, kiosk deployments require a comprehensive approach to maximize their opportunity for success. A great location will go a long way toward great success.