In the world of kiosks, emails, and texts, filling out forms on a clipboard seems out of place. And yet, even today, healthcare organizations continue to adopt traditional patient intake forms.
Most industries have leveraged the convenience of digital tools to attract their customers. And with healthcare consumerism on the rise, the pen-and-paper approach is outdated and detrimental to your patient experience.
And what does this paperwork mean for your staff? To sum up in one word – Exhausting.
Prepping packets of forms for the next day’s appointments. Collecting completed forms from the patients. Entering patient data into the EHR. And repeating the process all over again, every day. Such time-consuming practices, especially during a staffing crunch, can cost your organization in more ways than one.
Digital patient intake forms address patient expectations and staff pain points head-on. Here are 5 reasons why you should switch to digital forms right away.
1. Improve patient experience
When was the last time you filled out the paperwork? Not in a long time, certainly. Your patients are the same customers who enjoy and expect digital convenience similar to other industries. Digital forms help you meet these expectations by leveraging multiple components:
- Under Convenient self-check-in modes: Instead of coming to the practice early to fill out stacks of clipboard forms, patients can use self-check-in technologies. Mobile pre-visit registration allows patients to complete intake forms even before their appointment. And at the practice, they can use in-office kiosks and tablets to complete check-in without the paper mess
- Intelligent forms: Imagine providing the same information for every visit. That’s the frustration your patients go through too. Intelligent digital forms pre-populate existing patient data to ensure that patients provide only necessary information, thereby eliminating redundant efforts.
- Auto-save forms: With a patient intake software like CheckinAsyst, you can leverage auto-save forms that allow patients to resume and complete the intake from where they have left off.
2. Capture the right data
When you follow a traditional approach, there can be higher chances of lapses in collecting the right patient data – from inaccurate entries, missing patient data, and irrelevant information.
Using a patient intake software, practices can set up digital forms to improve the quality of data collection. Let’s take a look at a few examples:
- Send out the right forms: With digital workflows, your front office staff can trigger digital forms based on appointments and patient-specific factors. This way, you are collecting the right data based on multiple factors, i.e., age, gender, reason for visit, medical history, and more. And all of these workflows can be set on auto-pilot, ensuring minimal staff intervention.
- Use mandatory questions: Digital patient intake forms can help you capture data that may be missed with traditional forms. By making certain questions mandatory, your practice can capture necessary patient-reported outcomes. This is particularly useful to ensure compliance and meet quality measures.
- Improve data accuracy: 61% of claim denials occur due to data inaccuracy. And with many compliances depending on patient data, typos can cost your business. Also, with illegible patient handwriting, it becomes difficult for your staff to comprehend the information. Digital intake forms eliminate these human errors by automatically capturing patient data.
3. Minimize staff efforts
Similar to any paper-based process, the biggest disadvantage is the manual effort. This approach affects your entire team – from your front office staff, clinical teams, to providers. For instance, 22% of the clinician’s time is spent on paperwork. And providers spend 49.5% of their time on deskwork and EHR duties. And when your staff is stretched between these administrative tasks, patient care takes a backseat.
Digital patient intake forms act as the doorway to set up digital workflows. With automated data capture, your team can say goodbye to time-consuming data entry and duplication tasks.
Take Premier Surgical Associates, for example. The leading surgical center cut down 75% of their pre-screening efforts and 90% of keystrokes and scanning efforts by switching to digital forms.
Also, a patient intake software can leverage discrete clinical data integration to make sure your check-in process is indeed digital. This means that all the data captured during check-in will be posted directly into the EHR/PM’s appropriate fields, ensuring your team no longer has to deal with manual data entry.
4. Streamline check-in process
Patient intake is the foundation for care delivery and coordination. Any delays or inaccuracies during this process can have rippling effects across the entire operation.
On the one hand, digital patient intake forms expedite data capture by providing convenient patient check-in modes. And with automated data capture, digital forms populate the information directly onto your staff’s screen, allowing them to process intake faster.
On the other, the digital patient intake approach makes patient information easily accessible to all relevant teams. Instead of back-and-forth communication between your front office, clinical teams, and providers, everyone has access to patient data that’s accurate, verified, and relevant.
This streamlined approach will automatically translate to better care coordination, shorter wait times, and increased practice efficiency.
5. Minimize administrative costs
Paper costs, mailing charges, scanning and printing cost – Paper-based intake is indeed heavy on your pocket. And it’s not surprising to note that 3% of the administrative cost is attributed to paper. Going paperless not only leads to direct cost savings, but also maximizes staff efficiency.
Ready to switch to digital patient intake forms for your practice, but unsure of taking the first step? Talk to our solution experts to learn how our easy implementation process will help you get started in no time.