Digital Patient Clinic Check-In For The Modern Medical Practice

What Does Clinic Check-In Mean To The Millennials And Why?

Initially published by Illumination on Medium!

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

The operational aspect of a Medical practice has been the target of our recent technological advancement and social mind shifts. Patients’ liberal access to digital information and the role of a system that would reimburse medical practices based on the value of service instead of the number of services provided has significantly disrupted the medical practice landscape.

Today, one lured my attention the most among the myriad of inevitable metamorphoses threatening medical practices. That results from a recent poll produced by MGMA on the patient check-in process for their clinical visit.

The Process Of Patient Check-In Can Be A Complex Grind

Traditionally, the patient check-in process happens at the clinic reception, where patients register. The method typically comprises a clipboard containing questionnaires and information handed out by the receptionist or a clerk.

While in the waiting room, the patient provides the information requested on the clipboard. Some medical practices may use more advanced tools such as electronic tablets, touch screens kiosks, or other methods to collect patient registration information.

Even though the patient check-in process may seem simple, it is one of the most intricate areas of many medical practices. Because if clinic staff fails to coordinate the patient check-in process efficiently, that can sire a medical practice environment that is neither calm nor orchestrated enough to accommodate seamless patient flow. That ends the clinic day that is utterly out of control, running late the entire day. Most of all will fire up patient dissatisfaction and physician burnout and impede reimbursement amidst a value-based payment system by 3rd party payers.

So, there must be a better solution to avoid any obstacles in the patient Check-in process!

It Seems As If Millennials Prefer Digital Check-In For Their Clinic Visits.

Almost everyone, especially the millennials, is familiar with self-service mobile check-in systems in various industries. Today in our technologically savvy society, people usually check in to an airline through an app before arriving at the airline. Today patients prefer to have the same option in their clinic visit appointments. That is why medical practices are, more and more, contemplating accommodating that request.

According to the Medical Group Management Association’s (MGMA) stat poll conducted on May 3, 2022, with 652 appropriate responses, Study found that still, a majority (83%) of the medical practices use the “front desk,” check-in process. Only the remainder of the survey respondents used one or more of the following check-in methods: “online” (7%), “phone” (3%),” “text” (3%), and “kiosk” (3%).

MGMA report also suggests that the costs of digital Check-in infrastructure are the major prohibiting factor to their medical practices in most cases.

Offering virtual medical practice check-in options to patients has significant benefits for the patients and the medical practices. It reduces the waiting time, avoiding unexpected delays from when the patient arrives at the clinic, encounters the physician and medical staff, and checked-out.

Downsizing wait times through automated check-in help mitigate the number of disruptive patients.

“After all, a medical practice need is that one disruptive impatient patient to create a domino effect of throwing out the practice flow off the track.”

As one respondent of the MGMA Stat poll Said:

“Tempers are short, any wait times are unacceptable once at the practice.”

Digital check-in offers an additional option for patients to take their time as they desire to accurately reflect their thoughts, problems, and information on the medical records. Furthermore, it opens another option for medical practices to post valuable instructions and information particular to that visit for patient acknowledgment and education.

More importantly, millennial trust and over-reliance on technology are enunciated. For that reason, Millennials favor digital check-in.

Millennial leaders approvingly choose technical wisdom. That is in contrast to the physician and stoic Baby boomer skepticism of technology. Thus, one must not underestimate the value of front desk in-person check-in.

The Hybrid Patient Check-In Approach Is Invariably The Answer

The better solution rests in the user experience of the medical practice technology supporting the digital check-in system, regardless of the user, the patient, nurse, receptionist, or clinician.

The optimal medical practice digital check-in system is hybrid, interactive, transparent, operationally in tandem with in-person experience, and likewise automated.