Select Page

Credit cards have been around for a long time.  They’re easy to carry, pack a lot of information, and allow you to complete transactions quickly when at a supermarket, bank, or restaurant.  It makes a whole lot of sense, which is why just about all adults (and some children) have more than one.

And what about the kiosks that are now present at most airline ticket counters?  I’d be hard pressed to count the number of times I’ve been “trained” in the last year by ticketing agents on how to use the kiosk to speed up my check in time.  The kiosks work (most of the time) and I actually like the convenience of anonymously speeding through the terminal without having to talk to the ticketing agent.

So why not in healthcare?  I mean, credit cards and kiosks probably aren’t for everyone, but I bet they would work for a lot of people, especially when you’re trying to speed up the amount of time you spend in a place like a hospital or medical clinic.  Imagine a small credit card that stored all of your insurance and general information, and allowed you to check in by simply sliding it through a terminal – no clipboards, no rotten strings holding slightly chewed pens, and no waiting in line twice (once to get the paperwork, an once to turn it in).

Probably has a ways to go, but I bet it’s where we’re all headed.  Check out this Indianapolis-based healthcare system that introduced it’s card and kiosk system this month in an effort to put it’s patients in more control of an efficient and error-free check in process.

The service, unveiled Wednesday, offers a variety of free tech tools to patients who sign up to receive a credit-card-sized “myCommunity” card. The service features express check-in kiosks (similar to those at airports) to be installed at Community North first, then throughout the system eventually. Patients will swipe their myCommunity cards and use touch screens to complete the inpatient and outpatient check-in process.

“It involves the way people are going to interact with health care in the future,” said Daniel Rench, vice president of e-business for Community Health Network, which operates five hospitals and numerous other health facilities in Central Indiana.