The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has transformed human interaction, thereby creating significant challenges for several sectors, including the healthcare sector. During these stressful times, patients are yearning for reassurance and protection. Fortunately, recent advances in technology, including the implementation of self-service kiosks, can greatly benefit healthcare facilities and patient care.
Self-service kiosks allow medical practitioners, patients, and their families to obtain important information and access essential services without having to interact with another person. Research studies have demonstrated that social distancing and isolation have played an important role in significantly reducing the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, innovative technology that further reduces unnecessary human contact can help to minimise the propagation of the virus.
So far, self-service kiosks have already been implemented in a variety of healthcare settings throughout the world. Moreover, touchscreen technology and self-service kiosks can ease some of the issues facing overburdened healthcare systems, including patient check-ins and reduced waiting times. Both patients and medical personnel can benefit from commercial grade touch screen kiosk in a variety of ways. In this article, we will discuss how we can use these devices to their full potential during the ongoing pandemic.
Measuring Body Temperature
After the original COVID-19 outbreak, the use of a “contactless” handheld thermometer gained popularity. However, this device was not actually contact-free since it required people to be in close proximity of each other. According to the FDA, the short distance required to accurately take a person's temperature poses a risk of disease transmission between the person operating the device and the person being tested.
In contrast, the temperature screening kiosk is fully contactless and can measure temperature using infrared technology. As such, both medical workers and patients can use this innovative technology and receive results in minutes, thereby further reducing the risk of spread of COVID-19 or other infectious disease in healthcare settings.
When purchasing a temperature screening kiosk, it is recommended to inquire about the margin of error of the device to ensure it is within 0.2°C for body temperature.
Enforcement of Face Mask Policies
Face mask policies are the cornerstone of COVID-19 work-related policies. According to the results of a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in 2020, 86% of HR professionals required or planned to require employees to wear face masks at work, with 80% planning to provide and pay for them. However, enforcement of such policies can also be challenging.
The good news is touch screen kiosks can be used to enforce face mask policies. Specifically, this innovative technology can not only accurately measure an individual’s temperature while they are wearing a face mask, but they can also be programmed to detect the presence (or absence) of a face mask and prompt the individual to put one on before proceeding into the office.
Safeguarding the Privacy of Users' Medical Information
When sharing users’ medical information, whether it's COVID-19 test results or temperature measurements, privacy issues can arise. However, it is essential to maintain strict anonymity and privacy for medical results across all healthcare settings. Using touch screen kiosks can ensure remote delivery of results, while complying with strict privacy regulations.
Delivering Healthcare to Patients
Kiosks can also help to help patients access healthcare from various locations, including retail or office settings, thereby bringing healthcare services to new areas. Furthermore, the use of this technology can help healthcare organisations to expand their patient bases across the region. For instance, in rural areas, kiosks can provide vital services such as biometric tests, while also providing patients essential information and test results.
Overall, touch screen kiosks can serve as an effective tool for delivering healthcare to patients spread out across large geographical areas. In addition, kiosks can promote the use of telehealth, while also helping deliver therapy and care to those who require it.
Facilitating the Use of Telemedicine
As the pandemic continues to present new challenges to healthcare systems across the globe, telemedicine has emerged as an effective solution for clinicians and caregivers to better respond to patient needs.
Furthermore, telemedicine has become an essential tool in curbing the spread of COVID-19. Specifically, touch screen kiosks can be used to screen patients and deliver healthcare remotely. The technology offers effective contactless solutions for consulting patients with cold or flu symptoms, as well as for providing remote care for individuals who do not require medical intervention or could benefit from treatment at home. Ultimately, the use of touch screen kiosks in telemedicine helps to minimise contact with individuals potentially harbouring infectious disease, thereby reducing the danger of infection spreading to other patients and healthcare workers.
Enabling Patient Self Check-In
Patients performing self-check-in for their appointments has become very common across various healthcare facilities. Enabling self-check-in in patient care has obvious benefits: it frees up healthcare resources from support-related activities so that staff can devote their time to more meaningful tasks, while also minimising contact between individuals.
Replacing typical front-desk queuing with self-check-in and medical questionnaires that can be completed independently can dramatically improve the patient experience. Self-check-in can also significantly reduce queues generated by Monday morning peaks, a common occurrence in healthcare when the patient flow is significantly higher than the average weekly flow. What’s more, patients and visitors can also use wayfinding features of self-service kiosks to navigate through a hospital to find specific departments, wards, and offices of medical professionals.
Finally, self-service kiosks can also limit one-on-one interaction, lowering the danger of transmission of pathogens between personnel and patients. Often, contamination occurs when individuals are in close physical proximity and frequently involves talking, thereby potentially propagating airborne infectious diseases. Therefore, using a self-service kiosk can also help to reduce the risk of contamination across various healthcare settings, compared to using front desk services.
You can also purchase a kiosk that includes a hand sanitiser or a sanitising wipes dispenser. A motion detector will trigger the kiosk to release a certain amount of sanitiser when customers walk up to it and stretch out their hands. Overall, this feature can be used to encourage your employees and guests to sanitise their hands to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases and pathogens.
Reducing Labour Costs
Handheld screening systems often require additional personnel to operate and manually record patient data, such as temperature. In contrast, self-check-in kiosks free up healthcare personnel to focus on other important tasks.
In regions where people struggle to follow social distancing standards, it is sometimes necessary to hire additional staff to facilitate patient screening. However, using a self-service kiosk allows employers to cut costs by reducing the number of staff required, while freeing up staff to work on other tasks.
Today's market offers a variety of healthcare kiosk models with a variety of designs. There are many options to suit a wide range of requirements, including devices that can be mounted on the wall, countertop units, and standard height pedestals. In addition, there are options including extra features to provide aid with mobility.
Finally, you can even personalise touch screen kiosks to match your individual requirements. Most types of kiosks feature large screens, on which you can display useful information to your customers or employees. For instance, you might include messaging reminding users to keep their distance, wear a face mask, and wash their hands frequently to prevent spreading the coronavirus.
Using touch screen kiosks in healthcare presents many important benefits to healthcare organisations, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. From helping to maintain social distancing and reducing the spread of infections to expediting patient screening and check-in, a healthcare kiosk can serve as a valuable asset across a wide range of healthcare settings.