Mobile POS Usage in Hospital Retail Operations

As consumers, most of us have had some exposure to a mobile POS system while either shopping at a retail store, or dining at a restaurant or quick serve establishment. Many restaurant servers now come to the table equipped with a mobile or hand-held device for order taking instead of the traditional order pad and pencil, with the completed table order automatically going to the kitchen, and the server quickly moving on to the next table . In many retail stores, clerks now walk the sales floor with a mobile POS device for line busting to quickly check out customers standing in long lines and get them on their way faster. This not only speeds check out time and increases customer satisfaction, but also reduces the potential for losing a customer.

Healthcare retail offers many opportunities where a mobile POS solution can provide added convenience to employees and guests, expand the functionality already present in a traditional POS system, and greatly improve operational efficiency with cost saving results.

The Cafeteria and Coffee Cart

Take for example the hospital cafeteria with traditional POS terminals located in the check-out lanes, and additional outdoor seating that opens when the weather permits. Rather than routing patrons through the check-out lanes to pay for food and beverages before seating themselves outside, mobility allows the transaction to be performed at table side giving the employee or guest more time to enjoy their meal and dining experience, or possibly prevent the loss of a customer. With a traditional POS system in place, the cafeteria menu may be broadcasted to the mobile device with detailed sales data rolling into a central data base for reporting and informed decision-making. Mobile solutions are also ideally suited for mobile coffee carts, or mobile food carts where a POS system is needed, but space and portability rules out a large cash register with all its peripheral devices.

Patient Guest Services

A lot of hospitals now offer patient guests the convenience of ordering food and beverages from the cafeteria menu presented on an iPad or Android device, and paying either by cash or credit card on the same device. Just image visiting a friend or family member in their hospital room as patient dining is either taking or delivering their meal. It's a great comfort and convenience to be able to order and enjoy your meals together.

The Gift Shop and Fundraisers

Usually run by the hospital gift shop, fundraisers are a vital revenue generator for the hospital retail area. Generally held in the hospital lobby, the fundraising event may sell anything from uniforms to jewelry, and are usually geared to the hospital employees. The use of a mobile POS system is ideal for this temporary event, especially when the capability to accept credit card or employee payroll deductions as payment types is enabled.

Tell us about how you're using a Mobil POS solution in your hospital, or where your operation has a need for it.

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