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Kiosk Care

Has healthcare gone kiosk mad? Or is this good marketing?

An entry on Healthcare IT News describes kiosks in pharmacies, in combination with an Electronic Medical Record, enabling nurse practitioners to provide routine care to walk-in patients.

This application has a good fit with the recent UK healthcare white paper: Our health, our care, our say: a new direction for community services that shifts emphasis from secondary to primary care.

The UK's E-Health-Insider website in Kiosks have potential for patient feedback describes a study using them to gain patient feedback in diabetes and orthopaedic clinics. Even older people, it seems, do not feel intimidated by them, especially if there is a host nearby to help us out.

Wired News describes a similar application this time remotely monitoring patients. It reports that home telecare reduced emergency room visits by 29 percent and admissions to hospital by 37 percent.

Recently my bank implemented new paying in machines. Very nice touch screen jobs offering options, reading the value of the cheque and printing a receipt.

What used to take me about five minutes with a (admittedly) clunky old system now takes twenty-five, because I wait for the hosts to help baffled customers. As Sam Goldwyn said: we improved it worse.

But I am being cynical. Remote monitoring—maybe with kiosks—is part of the future.

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