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Kaiser Permanente Leads Way As 60 Medical Clinics Prepare To Deploy New Kiosks

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Kaiser Permanente has deployed the first "KP Self-Service Kiosk" at their Rancho Cucamonga Medical Office Building (MOB), to optimize the patient check-in and payment experience in an innovative project that will include over 60 medical clinics in Southern California. This is one of the largest pilot kiosk projects undertaken by any U.S. healthcare organization, and it is another example of Kaiser Permanente's market-leading efforts in electronic integration.         During the kick-off event at the Rancho Cucamonga MOB, officials demonstrated how the easy-to-navigate touch-screen kiosks will improve service to customers.

"These kiosks will complement the services we already provide for our members," said Larry Oliver, Assistant Medical Group Administrator for the Fontana Medical Center. "It is an enhanced service for the patients who want to use them, but receptionists will still be available to assist those who don't."        

Members will have the option of making non-dues payments with their credit and debit cards, updating their personal contact information, and using the "way-finding" feature (which provides a printout with walking directions from the kiosk to the appointment room). The kiosks are also designed to serve a multi-lingual population in languages such as English, Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese.

"This is great," said patient Nikki Williams, who gave the new kiosk a try. "I was a little apprehensive at first, but it is easy to use. I think it will save me time and frustration."

Nikki's comments were consistent with the views of the majority of members who used a demonstration prototype months ago. A survey of those test users showed that 80% felt the kiosk was faster than checking-in with a receptionist, and 96% said that they would "most likely" or "very likely" use the kiosk -- which has built-in privacy protection features -- in the future.

The kiosks are a component of Kaiser Permanente's HealthConnect, a comprehensive electronic health information system that includes one of the most advanced electronic health records available. Over 90 pilot kiosks will be deployed on a rolling basis by the end of 2008 at over 60 other Kaiser Permanente MOBs spread out across Southern California. Additional kiosk functionality features are planned to an already remarkable device, which received the "2008 Best Hardware/Enclosure Design Award" at the KioskCom Self Service Expo held in Las Vegas in April. There are tentative plans to expand the use of kiosks to Kaiser Permanente medical offices nationwide.

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