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Improving self-check-in/out process for better patient and staff experience.

Collaborating with Geisinger Health to help understanding and develop actionable suggestions to  implement a digital - first self service checkin/out experience pilot across 5 locations.


A Frustrating Check-In Experience

Imagine a patient arriving at a Geisinger Health facility. Confusion sets in as they navigate a maze of check-in options, unsure of the process. Delays mount, adding to their frustration. Meanwhile, staff juggle manual tasks and struggle with technology, leading to further inefficiencies. This scenario, unfortunately, was a reality for many patients and staff at Geisinger.

Due to the confidential nature of my work, governed by a non-disclosure agreement, I cannot provide specific details about the project itself. However, I am more than willing to discuss the general responsibilities I am currently undertaking as part of this team.


Geisinger hospitals have identified inefficiencies in their patient check-in and check-out processes, stemming from a lack of standardized procedures and heavy reliance on manual processes. This has led to delays and dissatisfaction among both patients and staff. To address these challenges, Geisinger aims to enhance its self-check-in/out process across five hospital units with a pilot program.

Leadership Objectives:

To enhance customer satisfaction and operational efficiency across Geisinger's system through the standardization of check-in/out processes, aiming to streamline operations, reduce manual interventions, and optimally utilize staff with a focus on a digital-first approach and reduced reliance on Patient Access Representatives (PARs).


How can we assist to leadership's vision of a digital-first kiosk experience through research and actionable insights, ultimately improving customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.

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Process Highlights

Research Highlights

Our team conducted a comprehensive exploration of the current operational landscape, scrutinizing technology, staffing, check-in procedures, operational considerations, and payment collection processes.

Guided by focused research questions, we sought to unravel key aspects:

  • What challenges exist within the technology framework?

  • What are the intricacies associated with Patient Account Representatives (PARs)?

  • How is the current check-in service model structured?

  • What refinements can be proposed for the check-in service model?

Early Stage Goals

At the start of our research on Geisinger hospitals' staffing challenges, we recognized extra tasks for patient representatives. Despite limited insights, we outlined our initial plan.


4-7 interviews with patients and families  about their experience and perspective about current checkin process, including services that they get.

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7-10 interview with staff and providers about their experiences in understanding current workflows, technology adoption painpoints, and other concerns from the following departments:

  • PAR/Front End (workstream lead Holt)

  • Rev Management

  • Clinical/Admin 

  • Health IT

  • Patient Contact center

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2-4 interviews with leadership  about their perspective and strategies about staffing challenges.

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Observations and primary research at one of the pilot locations.

We faced our initial obstacle when hospital privacy policies impeded patient interviews. Adapting, we shifted focus to address tech and internal stakeholder challenges, adjusting plans due to limited access. Juggling conflicting organizational priorities heightened the complexity of our research, demanding adaptability.


Upon delving into staffing challenges and the role of PARs, our research synthesis revealed strategic imperatives for improvement. Key solutions included streamlining data verification processes, reducing the necessary number of PARs, and strengthening quality control measures to address turnover issues.


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Synthesis and clustering of  primary research about PARs and departments

Key research findings

Through the research, we found out the following:

Confusions in check-in

The multitude of check-in options without a corresponding check-out process indicates a potential source of confusion for patients.

 PAR Accountability challenges

The decentralized operational model of PARs resulted in competing priorities and a noticeable lack of accountability.

Staff Challenges in Payment Requests

The reliance on staff uncomfortable with payment requests highlights a potential training and communication gap. 

After sharing our findings with internal stakeholders, we developed draft service blueprints to provide a comprehensive overview of the patient journey and service models for different check-in methods that to communicate the findings and get more insights. We designed a current state blueprint, a potential state reflecting leadership decisions, and a third model for the future. The revelations from these blueprints underscored the necessity to transform PARs, addressing staffing challenges and improving collections concurrently.

Key insights 

Key insights emerged out of analysing current service models and proposed future models:



Introducing centralized governance for PAR management will not only streamlines procedures but also improves communication between different departments.



Balancing conflicting department priorities requires customized strategies to achieve efficiency and precision in user experiences.

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Enhancing data quality extends beyond technological upgrades; it necessitates enhancements in training and communication processes as well

Communicating insights

Conveying these insights to senior leadership (VP of digital transformation, Product management, Innovation operations, and Chief Innovation Officer) was the subsequent crucial step. With these key insights in mind, the team formulated a set of recommendations aimed at enhancing operational efficiency in line with the leadership's vision of implementing a digital-first kiosk experience.

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The main challenge was crafting brief and clear information because, from a leadership perspective, there was a preference for easily comprehensible visual content at a glance. It was crucial for the language, visuals, and overall scanability to be simple and straightforward, avoiding any design jargon.


The approach was to distill the insights into practical recommendations for the Revenue management team, Operations team, and customer experience. We leveraged the digital transformation team's framework of "people", "process", and "Data/Tech" and devised two recommendations for each of these three categories.

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One pager document for the senior leadership including an overview, stakeholder relations and design reccomendations.


My internship at Geisinger Health has been a rewarding challenge. Stepping into an entirely new domain, I needed to quickly grasp the intricacies of a healthcare system, especially within the context of Geisinger's integrated health structure. Demonstrating the value of design in an organization not traditionally design-centric was a key objective, and each small change we implemented within the organization felt like a significant victory. One noteworthy achievement was successfully securing approval and funding for the establishment of an on-site innovation lab. This experience allowed me to collaborate with a fantastic remote team and gain invaluable insights into the pivotal role of patient-centric design in both the patient experience and the business aspects of a traditional healthcare system like Geisinger.

Looking for more?

I am happy to talk more about the project that is not on this website!

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