Digital Patient Intake in Telehealth

Role of Digital Patient Intake in Telehealth

As 2020 unfolds with COVID-19, uncertainty hovers around the medical community on managing and containing the pandemic.  

Practices and Hospitals all across the country are adopting newer ways to navigate the situation. While hospitals in most states are running out of beds and a need for physical distancing surges, telehealth is in the spotlight like never before. With telehealth, healthcare facilities are transforming themselves into ‘virtual care clinics.’ But for the visits to be truly virtual, there is another essential workflow to be virtualized. That is Patient check-in.

Digital check-in solutions have become a critical component in reducing the risk of exposure and ensuring that practices and patients get the most out of a telehealth visit. Let’s explore the key ways in which digital intake is enabling telehealth:

1. Zero-Contact Intake

A telehealth visit is just like a traditional visit to the doctor’s office minus the physical presence. For an appointment to be efficient, patient intake information should be captured and made available to the healthcare staff. 

The question is, how can this be done in a virtual setting with no risk of exposure to the patient or staff? Here comes the role of zero-contact intake. The concept allows patients to complete their check-in using their personal devices like mobile. From the comfort of their home, patients can fill demographic and clinical information, sign consent forms, make payments, and get ready for their telehealth visit. 

Let’s take the case of a Community HealthCare Center or Primary Care facility to illustrate the benefit of a digital check-in process. Considering that 29 million Americans rely on community health centers, there could be an influx in visits due to the current situation. It would be chaotic to call all these patients to prep them for telehealth. A mobile-based digital intake workflow helps here to capture the patient information and ensure zero contact intake. 

2. Digital COVID-19 Screening

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has mandated COVID screening across health care facilities for all patient visits. That’s a lot of conversations if you choose to adopt that route. Digitizing the screening questionnaire will help you capture the information effortlessly. It’s not enough just to complete the screening, but it’s equally important to have adequate automation in place to ensure that there is a real-time and easy-to-access alert for your staff in case the screening shows a suspected case.

3. Digitally Capture Assessments 

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the anxiety levels are escalating in America. American Psychiatric Association released a national poll where 62% of Americans have high anxiety or COVID-panic. 

Capturing Assessment scores is more crucial for people with existing anxiety conditions, as they are more likely to worsen their coexisting chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease. Your Providers have to know the assessment score before their face-time with your patients. 

The combination of mobile check-in and telehealth are handy solutions in such situations where the patient will be more comfortable staying at home. It becomes perfect when your digital check-in solution allows you to capture assessments, auto-scores the value, and send it to the EHR systems without any or much manual efforts from MAs. 

4. Time for Cashless Payments

Now that CMS has become more flexible regarding payments and reimbursements for telehealth and other digital communication with patients, there is one last step to close the loop. And this final step is virtual payments! Infusing digital payment options in the intake workflow helps you collect patient payments on time. Besides, offering payment plans will go a long way in showing your compassion, especially during these trying times. 

Having an easy process to refund patient payments in case of appointment cancellations is also vital to long-term patient satisfaction.


The Road Ahead

As federal regulations are loosening its barriers to adoption, virtual care with telehealth is here to stay. But to transform the current make-shift arrangements to a more permanent working model, you must combine it with digital check-in.  At this time of crisis, we extend our sincerest solidarity along with all possible support we can offer. Contact us to know more about Digital Check-in and how best we can help you:  marketing@healthasyst.com.