3 Reasons Your Medical Practice Needs an Online Patient Intake Form

November 22

It is a truth universally acknowledged, the forms required for a visit to a new medical clinic or therapy practice are tedious, time consuming and often confusing. Every member of the patient experience from the front office staff, to the physical therapist, to the patient themselves are required to deal with the forms necessary to obtain crucial information like personal data and medical history. Though the dreaded form is certainly a necessary evil of medical practice, there are new advancements in technology that have made the process of completing and processing patient intake data much easier and more efficient. In this video by Derek Sanborn, lead product developer at PatientStudio, he discusses how online patient intake forms can improve your practice!

Receive information before the appointment

There are few things in the therapy management process that can slow down the workflow of the office more than the paperwork required from a new patient.  Any new patient that is established at a practice must provide information like personal data, insurance information and past medical history. Oftentimes new patients don’t show up to their first appointment early enough to get all of the data filled out in time for their appointment time. Most offices choose to shuffle appointments to accommodate the new patients, but this process can lead to delays throughout the entire practice and a schedule for the remainder of the day that is completely disrupted.

With an online intake process, all necessary forms are sent to a patient automatically  when they make an appointment. When speaking with our clients they have made it clear that patient satisfaction seems to be much higher when they are able to complete paperwork from anywhere at their own convenience and don’t have to print forms at home  or use a clipboard in the waiting room. In addition, the information is available before the appointment so that it can be reviewed by the provider ahead of time and the doctor or therapist can be better prepared for all visits.

Patient intake forms

Reduce manual data entry with an online patient intake form

Any front office staff from a medical office can tell you that the hours spent completing the data entry required to register new patients can often feel interminable. Between all of the personal information required for insurance purposes, to family and medical history, not to mention any identifications that need to be copied and retained it can take valuable time to establish any new patient. This concept extends beyond just the front desk.  Therapists and providers can also benefit from integrated data. Subjective information from intake paperwork is pre-populated on evaluations and progress notes for a lightning fast documentation experience.   

 Implementing an online patient intake form system can drastically cut down the need for repetitive data entry, if not eliminate it completely, but not all online intake forms are created equal. For several years there have been many options available to medical practices that eliminated the use of paper forms, but were essentially stand alone systems. For each online entry, office staff was still required to manually translate the data provided by the patient into the overall practice management software. With PatientStudio, though, that is no longer a necessity. Instead, the system created by Derek and the product development team at PatientStudio automatically populates the information provided by patients in their online patient intake form into all additional components of your digital office. 

Eliminate confusion from messy handwriting

There is a standing joke that doctors have messy handwriting for a reason, but the office staff at most therapy practices can tell you with certainty that doctors aren’t the only ones who could use some penmanship practice.  Very few patient intake forms are completed without any mistakes, cross outs, misspelled words or illegible phrases. Many of the employees at therapy practices we have spoken with express that deciphering the terrible handwriting of not only their bosses but also the new and returning patients to the clinic can be nearly impossible. 

By utilizing an online patient intake form,  a therapy practice can bypass not only the inconvenience of messy handwriting, but also the medical liability if a mistake is made. It is entirely possible that a number could be transposed, or a word could be misread that could lead to a medical problem. If patients take the time to fill out a digital form, the incidence of miscommunication can be erased. 

Sometimes it can be daunting to consider changing a well worn system that your office has utilized for an extended period of time. Some features of a technological advance are easy to recognize, and online patient intake forms is one of those upgrades that is simple to see the advantages of. 

Sold on the value of digital forms and ready to schedule a demo on PatientStudio? Follow this link to take the first step. 

Still curious if an integrated, all in one therapy practice management system is right for your practice? Stay tuned for part 3 of our introduction to PatientStudio video series, and if you missed last week’s installment check out the video about online scheduling at this link.

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