Mayo Clinic to flip on new patient kiosks as part of computer transition
In the vein of self-checkout at Target or self check-in at the airport, Mayo Clinic will turn on 51 patient check-in kiosks throughout its Rochester campus on Saturday.The kiosks will work with the new online patient portal that is part of the...
In the vein of self-checkout at Target or self check-in at the airport, Mayo Clinic will turn on 51 patient check-in kiosks throughout its Rochester campus on Saturday.
The stand-alone interactive devices are another piece in the sweeping changes Mayo Clinic is implementing as part of its $1.5 billion transition to Epic Systems technology.
The kiosks will work with the new online patient portal that is part of the massive Epic Systems transition on Saturday.
The machines have already been installed at Mayo Clinic Health Systems sites in Wisconsin and Minnesota. They will be installed in Arizona and Florida after the Rochester transition.
Mayo Clinic says the kiosks will make the process easier for patients arriving for an appointment.
"Kiosks are being implemented to offer patients another option to check in for their appointments. Patients will still be able to check in at the desk," Mayo Clinic Medical Director of Connected Care Dr. Steve Ommen via email.
He explained that the kiosks are part of Mayo Clinic’s new digital check-in process, which can start online through the patient portal website before an appointment.
"The digital check-in process is one option to help patients check in easily, with the ability to answer questions and update information built into a digital process," Omen said.
Patients will also be able to check and pay their bills on the kiosks.
Unlike other industries, where adding automated systems often means fewer employees are needed, Mayo Clinic says the kiosks are not replacing people.
"Loss of jobs is not part of the implementation of the kiosks. Rather, patients using the kiosk will free staff time, so staff can help patients who need more time for check-in and more time to complete questionnaires and forms," according to Ommen.
The Epic transition has impacted other Mayo Clinic employees. Four hundred medical transcriptionists were all recently offered buy-outs by Mayo Clinic, since the need for their services are expected to be dramatically reduced with the addition of the new technology.
This is not the first time Mayo Clinic has tried using kiosks.
In 2014, Mayo Clinic worked with a company called HealthSpot, which was described as a "kiosk-based tele-health service provider."
HealthSpot made kiosks that were more like a booth or pod, where patients could interact remotely with a doctor. Two of the kiosk booths were installed in nearby Austin as a way to provide on-site care at Austin schools and at Hormel Foods.
In the end, the ambitious idea failed, and Ohio-based HealthSpot closed up shop in January 2016.
The new kiosks are focused on appointments, billing and related information, so they are expected to fare much better than HealthSpot’s elaborate remote exam booths.