The use of a self-check-in kiosk for early patient identification and queuing in the emergency department

Natalie Coyle, Andrew Kennedy, Michael J Schull, Alex Kiss, Darren Hefferon, Paul Sinclair, Zuhair Alsharafi
CJEM 2019, 21 (6): 789-792

OBJECTIVE: Delays in triage processes in the emergency department (ED) can compromise patient safety. The aim of this study was to provide proof-of-concept that a self-check-in kiosk could decrease the time needed to identify ambulatory patients arriving in the ED. We compared the use of a novel automated self-check-in kiosk to identify patients on ED arrival to routine nurse-initiated patient identification.

METHODS: We performed a prospective trail with random weekly allocation to intervention or control processes during a 10-week study period. During intervention weeks, patients used a self-check-in kiosk to self-identify on arrival. This electronically alerted triage nurses to patient arrival times and primary complaint before triage. During control weeks, kiosks were unavailable and patients were identified using routine nurse-initiated triage. The primary outcome was time-to-first-identification, defined as the interval between ED arrival and identification in the hospital system.

RESULTS: Median (interquartile range) time-to-first-identification was 1.4 minutes (1.0-2.08) for intervention patients and 9 minutes (5-18) for control patients. Regression analysis revealed that the adjusted time-to-first-identification was 13.6 minutes (95% confidence interval 12.8-14.5) faster for the intervention group.

CONCLUSION: A self-check-in kiosk significantly reduced the time-to-first-identification for ambulatory patients arriving in the ED.

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