Patients Are Being Given More Power To Criticise

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Consumers around the world are being given more power in terms of checking themselves into hotels, ordering their own food at takeaways and printing off tickets for the train. And now the concept of interactivity and control has been enhanced. A kiosk has been introduced that can be deployed in a doctor’s surgery, hospital or retail pharmacy, that allows patients to give feedback on their experience. Now touch screen kiosks are already being used in a vast array of health care environments to let patient’s check-in. However this touch screen technology, called ‘Wellby’, is an ATM-like machine with a touchscreen that allows patients to answer survey questions and give their views after having an examination.


Before they leave the office, the patient can get involved and input information into the touch screen kiosk which the physician can use to help treat the patient and improve services. Options available are simply ‘Yes’, ‘No’ or ‘Not sure’ and the data provided with offer insight into communication, compliance with standards of care, and reveal overall satisfaction. The technology, by CarePartners Plus and IBM, means that by engaging with the consumer, the healthcare industry can provide a higher quality of care. For years doctors have been attempting to develop new ways to gather information that will aid them to improve clinical outcomes. An advantage is that often a patient might be afraid to say what they really feel in the room to the doctor’s face but by stating it all privately on a touch screen they can express their true evaluation.


Kiosks such as these have attracted negative criticism though in terms of privacy, as some patients, particularly the elderly will be concerned that their personal health information in an electronic form can be obtained by non-authoritative personnel. But touch screen monitors can be designed to ensure that no-one looking at the side of the screen can see the information clearly and software can have passwords encrypted to ensure that files are locked away safely.