3 Advantages of Online Patient Intake Forms

Providers and their front office staff understand the frustration of the in-person intake form. Even though there exists the occasional patient who arrives 20 minutes early to fill out their paper form, checks the information twice over, and then hands it in over to the desk representative, this does not represent the majority of patients. Most patients, even if they arrive on time are not quick about filling out their forms, often leaving spaces blank or forget important information, handing over an insufficient form. In-office patient intake forms delay wait times and cause visits to go late, leaving both patients and providers frustrated. The solution to the headache of paper documentation is the online patient intake form. An online patient intake offers several solutions in the areas of accuracy, workflow, and patient satisfaction.

The Better Patient Intake Form:

1)    Accuracy:

The online patient intake form helps to improve accuracy by giving patients a way to complete their forms from their home on their own computer. This lets them take their time when filling out the form, checking over what they are filling out as they fill it out. If they forget a piece of information, they are home to look it up. As was mentioned before, patients do not always fill out their paper intake forms correctly. This could be for a number of reasons, but this is not where the risk for error stops. With in-office patient intake forms, there is another step in the process that increases the likelihood of errors in the patient’s chart. After the patient hands their forms over to the front office staff, the staff member is expected to transcribe the form into the patients Electronic Health Record. It is in this step that errors are often made for a number of reasons. Those reasons include things like a patient’s handwriting being difficult to read or the pressure on the front office staff to complete a heavy number of tasks in their day.

2)    Workflow Efficiency

The level of work on the front office staff brings up the next benefit of the online patient intake form. The online patient intake form reduces the heavy workflow that the front office staff often experiences. With the patient intake form now being completed at the home of the patient from their computer, the front office staff will no longer have to transcribe intake forms as they will automatically be uploaded into the patient’s electronic health record where the physician can review the information at any time and the patient can update it as well. This new free time the front office staff will have can be spent on more pressing responsibility, helping to build office workflow and structure around practice goals.

3)    Patient satisfaction

The third benefit of the online patient intake form is the increases providers see in patient satisfaction. This has to do with the fact that patients are less frustrated by the reduction in wait times and the improvements in practice efficiency. They see improvements in the practice with this small change to the online patient intake form that helps them see their provider cares about where they are heading. Patient satisfaction also increases because patients are better able to review their information with the online intake form. Paper forms can often be frustrating when a patient may already be running late to an appointment that is in the middle of their busy schedule. But if they could have finished this step ahead of time, their frustration level will be decreased and they are more likely to enjoy their appointment with their provider.

Providers who utilize the online patient intake form see improvements in accuracy as there are no longer discrepancies in paper documented intake forms. Their office efficiency increases with their front office staff now free of the burden. Lastly, patient satisfaction increases when patients do not have to engage in the frustrating step of paper intake forms in the office when all they really want is to visit with their provider in a timely manner. Decrease wait times, improve patient satisfaction, and improve your practice with online patient intake forms.