With a self-service check-in kiosk, Cathay General Hospital provides patients a more pleasant and relaxed check-in procedure.
Reducing hospital check-in queues makes hospital visits more enjoyable and relieves the stress of waiting in long lines. Long queues waiting for manual check-in unnecessarily expose people to the risk of catching contagious diseases from those around them or passing on infections to others. Not to mention the frustration that can come from waiting around in an environment that puts further stress on people needing help. The Cathay Hospital group approached Clientron for a custom automated check-in kiosk solution to streamline the check-in process to alleviate these issues
Cathay General Hospital, established by Cathay Life Insurance in Taipei in 1977, has four locations: the original Cathay General Hospital, Hsinchu Branch, Xizhi Branch, and Neihu Cathay Clinic. The self-service kiosk aims to improve service and quality for the large number of people visiting each day.
The objective was two-fold. Firstly, it would help get an accurate and possibly real-time count of the number of people registering and allow for further analysis of that data to take necessary actions. Secondly, the manual registration puts a strain on the hospital staff and forces people to wait in long queues during check-in, but with self-service check-in kiosk it allows patients to experience a more pleasant and relaxed check-in procedure.
From the hospital’s standpoint, this centralized platform gives them the flexibility to set up the check-in kiosk to include event announcements, photos, videos, or anything else they deem necessary to those that use the kiosk. The format of these broadcast messages is almost limitless, bound only by the creativity and imagination of the system planners. This check-in kiosk is beneficial for patients by making aware of critical information, reminding them of visitation requirements or restrictions, giving general health tips, and guiding them on the next steps they may need to take.
Cathay Pacific selected Vectronix System Inc. to provide them with the kiosk that integrated the Falcon600 box PC for the computer system. The Falcon600 is designed for kiosk applications. In practice, this means that it has a unique combination of features and functions that are not found on typical computers, bringing together legacy and modern technologies into a cohesive system. It is equipped with an 8th generation Intel CPU (Whiskey Lake) and utilizes a thin aluminum alloy shell and fanless design to provide long-term stable and noise-free operation.
The power button plug connects to an external power switch on the kiosk instead of opening it up to turn the system on. In addition, the watchdog timer, programmed into the BIOS, periodically checks the system status to start or restart the system in case of software malfunction. It also provides hardware monitoring.
A kiosk is not a kiosk without a touchscreen display for intuitive use. For this, there are two display options. The VGA port, which maxes out at around 2048× 1536, is the legacy display port of choice, providing compatibility with most screens in existence today. DisplayPort is the future-looking option that will support a display of 3840×2160 pixels at a refresh rate of 60 Hz. This application used the VGA port for the monitor and USB for the touchscreen connection.
Network connectivity uses either the wired LAN connection or a WiFi connection. The hospital opted for the WiFi option for far greater flexibility. Without setting up by a single wire (the ethernet cable) for a large rollout, wireless connection saves time and allows placement of the kiosk anywhere that WiFi is in range and a power connection is available.
A variety of peripheral ports connect to the internal devices. 3x RS-232, 4x USB 3.1, and 2x USB 2.0 provide ample options for connecting to card readers and thermal printers needed for this application. In addition to these, a 24 VDC power output is provided to power the thermal printer, allowing direct power from the Falcon600 to the thermal printer, eliminating the need for another power source.
The automated check-in process has made the whole procedure much quicker than it was. With an intuitive interface to guide patients through check-in, they can simply push a few buttons to complete the process. The card reader for NHI medical cards allows access to the most critical information quickly for faster registration. The printer gives a visual reference of their registration information. And the whole system is connected to the central management system through the built-in WiFi connection.