Providers are painfully aware of patients who experience frustration in the waiting room. Whether it has to do with the amount of time they spend in the waiting room or the number of times they have to fill out forms for their health care provider. Paper patient intake forms have caused disruptions in wait times that trigger visits to go over, and patients to sit in the waiting room for what seems like forever. Providers work their hardest to visit with their patients as quickly as possible while still offering quality care, but paper patient intake forms make offering efficient quality care to patients more difficult than it needs to be. In 2019, providers are adopting the online patient intake form that is revolutionizing the way that patients complete their forms, update their information, and have that same information communicated to their chart. The digital age is here, and this is how an online patient intake form creates efficiency in a practice.
The Delay of the Traditional Intake
1) Wait Times:
Traditional intake forms consume time in multiple ways. The first being that they are usually filled out in the waiting room before a visit. Whether it is a patient running late for their visit, or not remembering their information, filling out the intake form in the office causes delays in visits that affect the entire schedule of the physician. They extend wait times so that that patients have to wait a frustrating amount of time for their visit.
2) Front Office:
The second way traditional intake causes delays within a practice is by taking up the time of the front office staff. Unlike online patient intake, traditional paper forms have to be transcribed by the front office staff, consuming their valuable time and decreasing efficiency. Transcribing patient information also increases errors due to having to understand sloppy handwriting, or the rush a team feels to things get done.
Online Patient Intake Improves the Process:
1) Before the Office:
One of the ways that the online patient intake improves the process is by eliminating the need to complete intake in the office. Now, while the patient is in the comfort of their own home or where is most convenient for them, the patient can complete their online patient intake form prior to entering the office. This increases efficiency by decreasing wait times. Even if the patient is running behind schedule, they no longer have to take the time to update their information in the moments before their visit. Instead, they can relax knowing they have updated their personal information with online patient intake before ever stepping foot in the office. Online patient intake also allows for patients to update their information as needed, whether they have a visit or not. This creates efficiency by allowing the patient to update their information right when they think of it. Traditionally they would have to wait until they arrived at the practice to inform the front office of an update, leading to forgetfulness an increase in errors.
2) The patient’s chart
One aspect that goes hand in hand with updating an online patient intake form is that the information has to be transcribed into the patient's chart so that the physician is up to date. One feature of the online patient intake form that increases efficiency is the fact that it automatically transfers the patient's update in information into their chart. This is not true of every online patient intake form but is crucial for providers who are looking to improve accuracy in information and eliminate the time-consuming transcription process.
These two benefits of the online patient intake form work together to combat the inefficiencies associated with traditional paper intake. Increase patient satisfaction by eliminating wait time and simplifying the intake process for patients. Not only this, but give back valuable time to the front office staff by eliminating the transcription process while at the same time improving accuracy in patient information and workflow overall.
If you are interested in utilizing online patient intake forms, you can learn more here: Intelligent Intake