Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Self-service Kiosk – The Backbone of the Micro Market concept

There’s a new trend developing in offices and it might be considered an inevitable result of the increased demand on an employee’s time and the expectation of high productivity levels, ensuring deliverables are completed in a timely manner and to a preset standard. This new development is not ominous in any way, but actually quite practical. It’s what is termed as a micro market.

A search of the word may result in an economics-based definition, but the micro markets that continue to crop up in various work spaces can be described as a convenience store at the office, one that provides lunch, snacks and drinks that employees can purchase. What makes micro markets so unique, is not only the convenience of an accessible and often healthy lunch option, but the fact that they utilize a self-service model – one that relies on an ‘honor system’ where employees are expected to pay for their purchases with cash, credit or even via their cell phone.
It can be argued that the key element that makes the self-service option possible, thereby adding to the effectiveness of the concept, is the self-service kiosk that is required to take payments. Unlike the traditional vending machine, the kiosk must allow the user to scan or input items as well as pay for them. There are some kiosks that even allow the input of coupon codes at the time of purchase.

Just as important as choosing the right layout of the micro market to suit the space available is the choice of a kiosk which will be unmanned but must still be capable of handling multiple transactions as well as track and record data to provide accurate inventory and revenue reports . The design of the kiosk is similar to those found in other industries, but they must also have the following components:

 

 

• Cash acceptors , debit and credit card readers to facilitate various payment options including cash (bills and/or coins), credit and debit cards
• Card dispensers and issuers that can provide company-sponsored membership cards. These are usually used as loyalty cards where employees can accumulate points and is an incentive for them to make healthy choices

 

• Low end thermal printer to provide receipts to users.
Some optional components can also be used to provide added services including:
• A Keyboard and trackball – kiosks can be a great tool for

administering surveys or providing general information
• A secondary overhead monitor can be used for advertisements,

marketing, or for user instructions.
• Scanner – for coupons or promotions.
Micro Market self-service kiosks should also be durable and vandal resistant, especially if placed in a high traffic area/office. Slabb has been providing kiosks to several micro market solution providers for the past four years; with over 2500 kiosks in the field we use the feedback we receive to provide the most suitable options for our clients. We primarily utilize our Slabb X6 or C7E kiosk models (see below) because of their durability, and customize them to customer specifications. Both models provide a user-friendly platform and are ideal for high usage sites.

 

Slabb X6 - note the optional overhead screen

Slabb X6 – note the optional overhead screen

 

 

Slabb's C7E Kiosk

Slabb’s C7E Kiosk

 

 

 

Department of Transportation’s New Requirements for Airline Kiosks

Last week the Department of Transportation issued new rules to ensure equal access for all airline passengers with disabilities. It is part of the Department’s continued implementation of the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986. The new rules focus on two main areas of service – airline websites and kiosks.

 

 
Airlines are now required to have both their websites and automated airport kiosks accessible to passengers with disabilities. The Department is also allowing airlines to “choose between stowing wheelchairs in a cabin compartment on new aircraft or strapping them to a row of seats”. This option allows the airline to transport 2 manual folding wheelchairs at the same time.

 

 
Kiosks sold in the US must conform to specific physical standards, as set by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Act indicates specific requirements for kiosk designs to ensure that they are accessible by all users. In addition to this, the Department of Transportation rules now state the following for airline kiosks, which are usually used for printing boarding passes and baggage tags:

 

 
• At least 25% of all kiosks at each airport location must be accessible to passengers with disabilities within 10 years even if no new kiosks are installed.

 

 
• Airlines must adhere to the accessibility standards as set forth by the US Department of Justice for ATM and fare machines in the 2010 ADA rule as well as the Section 508 standards for self-contained closed products.

 

 
The rule also sets detailed guidelines for airline website requirements and the transportation of wheelchairs on airplanes.

 

 
Since the announcement there has been disappointment expressed by The National Federation of the Blind, due to the length of time the DOT is giving airlines to implement all changes. The Federation’s President, Dr. Marc Maurer, pointed out that they expected the rule to be stronger instead of providing a seemingly lax timeframe for implementation. He stated that it allows “…ten more years of discrimination and ten more years of missed opportunities for innovators.” The Federation is hoping that the Department will review and amend the rule to reflect its commitment to equal access for disabled travelers.

 

 
Additional information on the new rules is available at http://www.dot.gov/briefing-room/new-dot-rules-make-flying-easier-passengers-disabilities

Slabb’s Customized Kiosks Help Streamline Arkansas’ Parole Program

Yesterday, Arkansas’ Department of Corrections announced the use of automated kiosks to assist in making the parole process more efficient for some probation and parole officers.

 

Customized Slabb X6 kiosk

Customized Slabb X6 kiosk

 

Signature pad - one of the components of the kiosks

Signature pad – one of the components of the kiosks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More information about this initiative can be found here.

 

 

 

We would have also posted a blog about this project a few months ago. You can read it here.

Healthcare Solutions Developed with the Patient in Mind

When most people think about the kiosk industry’s healthcare solutions, they either think of the traditional kiosks that can give you a blood pressure reading, found at almost every neighborhood pharmacy, or they imagine a kiosk of the future, that can act as a stand in for a doctor, where symptoms are inputted and possible diagnoses are given, along with a relevant prescription.

 
There are kiosks that are being developed to do some of the latter, and there are more and more articles appearing about them such as, Too few primary care providers? Med-mail, videoconferencing kiosks, and web portals to the rescue by Andrew Litt, M.D. The kiosks actually don’t give a diagnosis, but a licensed physician can, via video chat, along with the help of an on-hand medical assistant.

 
But there’s another area of healthcare that could be greatly improved through the use of kiosks – patient management. It can be argued that the underlying premise of patient management is to provide answers and implement solutions to the question – “How can a patient’s experience of the healthcare system be improved?” As a result, any solutions developed should be based on the patient’s well-being, comfort and convenience.

 
Often as new patients, we find ourselves filling out what seems like numerous piles of paperwork before we can actually see the doctor. Or waiting for hours due to emergencies, or appointment delays. Suppose this could all be eliminated? Is it possible to have a totally efficient patient management system? I don’t have the answer, but there are certainly solutions that can be developed that can greatly assist the process. Some kiosk software solutions address these issues, along with others and include pre-registration (at home), on-site registration and wayfinding solutions. All facilitate a more efficient patient experience.

 
Slabb is always looking for solutions that can enhance our hardware offering. It was one of the reasons why, in developing our healthcare kiosk line, we partnered with PatientWay, a Canadian-based software solutions company that specializes in the development of emerging technologies for the healthcare industry. They believe that patients’ active involvement in the registration and check-in process can increase patient and staff satisfaction while saving healthcare organizations time and money.

 
They provide streamlined patient access through web, kiosk and mobile applications using the following products:

 
PatientWay PreReg
This always patients to schedule appointments and pre-register from their homes using a secure system. It eliminates the need for them to fill out any paperwork when they arrive for their appointment and works seamlessly with PatientWay’s Reminder product.

 

 

 

PatientWay Reminder
Once an appointment has been scheduled, PatientWay’s reminder system is automatically triggered and sends an automated voicemail, email, or instant message, reminding a patient of their appointment. It eliminates the need for the healthcare provider to make reminder calls and reduces the number of “no shows” which can cost healthcare providers time and money.

 

 

 

Slabb's X2 is the desktop model that is sometimes used for healthcare solutions

Slabb’s X2 desktop

Slabb's X6 is also a common kiosk model used in the healthcare industryPatientWay Check-in Kiosk
The check-in kiosk allows patients who haven’t pre-registered, to register on-site when they arrive for their appointment. It reduces the amount of time patients have to wait, as it provides a quick and easy registration platform eliminating the need to speak with a clerk. The kiosks are multilingual and facilitate card payments, surveys and provide up-to-date patient information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slabb’s Wayfinding Kiosk

Wayfinding Display
PatientWay’s wayfinding kiosk adds another element to the patient management system by providing hospital and healthcare maps that assist patients in getting to their final destination. The wayfinding displays also provide information about locations outside of the hospital including restaurants, parking and hotels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These systems have all been developed to assist both patients and healthcare facilitates to better manage their time and improve the overall patient experience. Their benefits include:

 

 

 

◦ Patient access to information and services 24/7
◦ Decreased wait times
◦ Value added services
◦ Updated customer database
◦ Customer feedback through online surveys
◦ Reduced staffing costs
◦ A positive ROI for healthcare providers
◦ They provide an excellent branding and advertising opportunity

 

 

 

For more information on PatientWay’s solutions, visit www.patientway.comand for information on Slabb’s hardware click here.

Efficient, Secure and Reliable Healthcare Solutions

One of the sectors that has increased its use of Self Check-In technology in recent times is the healthcare industry. More and more, institutions that provide healthcare services such as hospitals, medical centers and doctors’ offices are realizing the need to use technology that can assist in effective patient management, including reducing the cost of providing services, where in some cases, these savings are being passed on to patients. This technology not only facilitates greater efficiency but provides a more positive experience for patients and their families.

 

 

 

Customized Healthcare Solutions
patientwaySlabb has partnered with healthcare solutions provider PatientWay, champions of patient self-service technology. They provide streamlined patient access through web, kiosk and mobile applications using the following products:

 

•PatientWay PreReg (Appointment Pre-registration)
•PatientWay Reminder (Automatic appointment reminders)
•PatientWay Kiosk (Appointment Check-In, Card Transactions & Wayfinding)

 

 

 

Customized Slabb X6 patient registration kiosk

Customized Slabb X6 patient registration kiosk

 

 

 

 

This week St. Joseph’s Health Centre’s Ambulatory Care Centre (ACC) unveiled it’s new patient kiosk which will assist in providing a quicker and more efficient patient registration process. The hardware for the kiosk was provided by Slabb with software from PatientWay. Read more about St. Joseph’s new kiosk here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To learn more about PatientWay’s Solutions go to www.patientway.com