Tablets in the waiting room
Mobile tablets have become a common feature of the healthcare sector. Used by physicians to input and view data quickly, they are speeding up access to information while also improving the patient experience.
Increasingly these mobile tablets are also making their way into waiting rooms and they are doing so in a host of different ways.
So why would you use mobile tablets in your waiting room and how would you implement them to best effect?
Mobile tablets offer an ideal way for patients to check in quickly especially in busy clinics where time is of the essence. Designed to complement rather than replace interaction with reception staff, a tablet kiosk allows pre-booked patients to notify the clinic that they are now in attendance.
Alternatively, or in conjunction with tablet kiosks, reception staff can also be issued with tablets which allow them to quickly check-in patients and input any changed details.
These tablets can be fixed at the reception desk or even mobile, allowing reception staff to meet and quickly deal with patients in the queue.
The days of the clipboard and hard copy patient questionnaire are numbered, with tablets offering an alternative which eliminates human error, and decreases double handling of data.
In this instance a clinic also has two options for data entry – hand the tablet to the patient as you would a clipboard and ask them to fil in their own details, or arm staff with the technology and allow them to facilitate the data entry process.
In busy general practices or larger medical facilities, mobile tablets can be invaluable in streamlining a physician’s work. With a tablet in hand they can cross check patient symptoms, access test results and x-rays, all while continuing to make their rounds or move from area to area within a clinic.
The waiting room can be a drab environment where patients spend a significant period of time. And the last three back issues of National Geographic with a TV humming quietly in the background may not be enough to keep them entertained.
That’s where many practices are turning to tablets for entertainment, especially in settings where children are the primary patient.
Now found in orthodontists’ waiting rooms, at children’s dentists, general practices and fracture clinics, mobile tablets offer an alternative form of entertainment to keep patients busy during what can potentially be an extended wait.
If you’re looking to gauge patients’ experience within your practice in a bid to offer superior care, mobile tablets that act as patient feedback kiosks can be a great way of gaining insight.
Equipped with simple surveys that ask relevant questions, these kiosks can encourage patients to give their feedback on the services and surrounds.
Positioned around the clinic waiting room, tablets can also offer valuable information about services, clinic information and expected behavior through digital advertising. The advantage of a tablet for this purpose is the message can be regularly and easily changed to offer up-to-date information about illness outbreaks, current staff or new services within a medical facility.
If you’re looking to implement mobile tablets in a clinical setting, it’s important to consider exactly how they will be used and accessed at the outset.
If devices are to be mobile, they will require protection against spills, drops, or surface scratches. That means a case or commercial-grade enclosure will be required.
If tablets are to be used as digital advertising, entertainment, self-check-in or customer feedback kiosks, they will also need protection and a stand or wall mounting. This hardware should be durable and rugged yet suit the look and feel of the practice to enhance its décor.
Meanwhile where will these tablets be positioned? Check-in kiosks should be obviously positioned near the reception counter perhaps on a wall or freestanding pole. Entertainment kiosks might be in a bank fixed to a bench which is out of the way from walk-through areas.
Customer feedback kiosks on the other hand, might be in the main waiting area within easy reach of patients as they wait or as they exit.
The positioning and set-up of mobile tablets will ultimately impact how well patients utilise them. You can find out more about our tablet stands and enclosures suited to these purposes and more here.