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X-akseli is just what the doctor ordered for anxious patients

AKSELI helps manage the customer stream by automating patient self check-in, communications and navigation guidance.Credits: : X-akseli

Espoo-based X-akseli promises to deliver benefits to patients, hospitals and medical staff alike with its advanced customer flow management system, AKSELI.

“The urologist is ready to see you now!” is undoubtedly an announcement most men would prefer not to hear after their name has been called in the congested waiting room of a hospital.

Luckily many of the annoying, embarrassing and frustrating aspects traditionally associated with medical appointments are disappearing as hospitals and healthcare centres are adopting digital solutions to manage their patient and customer flows.

“Patients are traditionally asked to come in well ahead of time to make sure they’re in the waiting room when the physician is ready for them. The hospital is basically conceding that it has no idea when you’ll be treated and when you’ll get to go home,” tells Janne Argillander, the CEO of X-akseli.

“We make it easier by giving you a more accurate estimate of when you’ll get to go home.”

Unrivalled value

X-akseli has grown rapidly into the leading provider of healthcare-related customer flow management solutions in Finland, boasting a clientele of 70 local governments and hospital districts. After reporting a 24 per cent uptick in net sales and featuring yet again on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 Finland in 2017, it acquired the patient self-registration business of what used to be one of its two main rivals, Tieto, in spring 2018.

“Ours has been the most advanced and valuable system on the market, and it has also created the most value for its users,” states Argillander.

“We’re proud to be able to make a living doing this. It hasn’t been easy getting to this point. We don’t have big cash coffers. Our own pockets have set the limits for us as our growth has been internally funded.”

AKSELI is used for 95 per cent of all reservations at the Oulu University Hospital (OYS). Image: X-Akseli

Argillander is grateful particularly to the Oulu University Hospital (OYS), which selected the fledgling, two-year-old startup as the supplier of its smart but still limited patient self-registration system around 2010.

“OYS was huge for us,” he acknowledges. “We suddenly found ourselves wandering along the 50 kilometres of corridors at OYS. That was how it started.”

The clientele has since grown to include the Tampere University Hospital (TAYS), the Lapland Hospital District (LSHP) and, most recently, the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS).

“We’re still a small company, and in light of the healthcare market’s size there’s still room for growth in Finland. But we anticipate that we’ll also have to find markets elsewhere,” says Argillander.

Right place, right time

Patient self-registration, however, is only one aspect of a comprehensive customer flow management system such as X-akseli’s AKSELI. Argillander says the system essentially guides patients through any number of medical tests and procedures, while enabling the service provider to utilise its resources more efficiently.

“The process starts with a nurse or physician deciding what you need. We have nothing to do with that, but as soon as it has been decided that you need a knee surgery and a pre-surgery scan, for example, our system steps in, telling what’d be the most efficient time and place for the procedures,” he explains.

“It basically brings the customer, equipment and healthcare professional together in a room at the optimal time.”

AKSELI, he adds, is also the only system on the market that is capable of informing laboratory technicians which patients to prioritise based on when they are scheduled to meet a physician to discuss the test results.

Boosting morale, reducing anxiety

The benefits offered by the system are manifold.

AKSELI improves staff cost efficiency by performing clerical tasks to ensure nurses and physicians can concentrate on medical procedures rather than routine tasks, such as asking patients for contact details, and by guiding patients to the nearest waiting room and informing the medical staff of their arrival to ensure the staff do not have to rummage the corridors for a particular patient.

“That’s good for boosting morale among nurses and physicians,” tells Argillander. “It’s also a big deal if a nurse or physician has to wait for a patient for 20 minutes. It may not even be possible to get a physician to a small locality for more than a few hours at a time.”

Patients, in turn, appreciate both the higher level of privacy afforded by the more discreet way in which they are called in from the waiting room and the lower level of anxiety afforded by knowledge that they are in the right waiting room – particularly if they have come in for an important test or procedure.

AKSELI is also a treasure trove of data that hospitals and healthcare centres can use to analyse, develop and optimise their operations, according to Argillander.

“You can use it to simulate the operations of a hospital and determine, for example, where the bottlenecks would be if the number of customers grew threefold. The system reveals all sorts of development needs in the healthcare system,” he says.

X-akseli has received positive feedback for its consultative approach and readiness to say no if necessary, tells CEO Janne Argillander. Image: X-akseli
By: Aleksi Teivainen