It seems everything is going digital at the moment as the coronavirus pandemic limits in-person interactions and the entire country practices social distancing. Tools like telehealth are helping patients visit with their providers from home. Remote Monitoring is enabling chronically ill patients to continue receiving treatment. And digital patient intake is streamlining the gathering of important PHI, reducing the number of people in waiting rooms, as well as improving other practice processes. The implementation of a digital patient intake process can help your practice in the five following ways during the pandemic and after:
Features and Benefits of Digital Patient Intake
1 Safer Patient Intake
Traditional patient intake often involves handing your patients a clipboard, pen, and paper while they sit in your waiting room, writing all of their information down by hand and returning it to you when they are done. Digital patient intake offers a safer alternative to traditional intake, eliminating the in-office process, and moving it online. From their patient portal, patients can input all necessary and relevant information directly into their chart. This allows you to gather and assess their PHI without them actually having to come into the office. Digital patient intake also often results in a more comprehensive list of information by eliminating the need to rush the patient into a visit.
2 Reduce Waiting Room Crowds
By digitizing this process, providers can reduce waiting room times and crowds dramatically. This is incredibly important as minimizing person-to-person interaction is vital to decreasing coronavirus transmission. Digital patient intake enables your patients to complete all necessary documents online, allowing them to visit with their provider at home or wait in their car for an in-person visit. By eliminating the need for patients to take up space in your waiting room, you control the number of people in your building at one time.
3 Streamline Workflow
Digital patient intake also helps to streamline the workflow of your front office staff by eliminating the intake transcription processes. Traditional paper intake involved the patient handing over their filled out forms to your front-line staff, and your team manually inputting that data into the patient’s chart. This leads to an increase in inaccuracies in the patient’s chart due to poor handwriting or misreading what the patient wrote on their form. With digital patient intake, the patient inputs their PHI directly into their chart, improving the accuracy of patient data and freeing up much needed time for your team.
4 Go paperless
Going digital also leads to a large increase in the amount of paper you practice uses each year. This eliminates the need for paper forms in most situations and enables your practice to greatly cut costs in this area. Not only will you spend less on paper each year, but other printing materials like ink or machine maintenance as well.
5 Improve PHI Security
Lastly, implementing digital patient intake at your practice will up the security of your patient’s health information. Paper records with traditional intake are a much larger risk today than a digital patient intake process. With paper intake, forms could be left where someone else could grab them, locks could be broken to steal data, or that data could be lost should anything happen to your practice. Digital patient intake operates with cloud-based technology to upload all information directly into the patient’s protected chart. Encrypted technology lowers cybersecurity risks so that all PHI is only accessible from approved members of your organization.
To learn more about a digital patient intake solution for your practice, click here.