How Digital Patient Intake Can Help Your Practice During Tripledemic 2023
As temperatures outside drop, patient demand rises for vaccinations and treatments for flu, COVID-19, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The tripledemic wave can push your care team to the limit. To offer medical staff and providers some relief from the pressure, the American Medical Association (AMA) provides these tips to support infection control.
Stay informed of the latest RSV, flu, and COVID-19 prevalence data. This will keep your practice in the loop in managing the best infection prevention and control (IPC) practices. Require masks to maintain respiratory hygiene. CDC data revealed that even a plain fabric mask helps reduce respiratory droplets by more than 50%. Simply said—wearing a mask is still the right thing to do. Reduce crowding in the waiting room this busy season with a curbside check-in option and eliminate the use of touch-screen kiosks and tablets.
The less time patients spend in your waiting room, the less risk of infections. Patients would feel safer providing their pre-visit information before they walk into the office. Staff and clinicians would be satisfied as well knowing the information they need is automatically fed into the practice management system and EHR.
What a relief it would be if your staff could trade in the manual, time-consuming patient information gathering, paperwork, and documentation for a completely digital patient intake form solution. This is possible today—but underutilized by many practices.
Are you hesitant to change? There’s no need to be. The American Medical Association (AMA) recognizes that a streamlined pre-registration process saves time and reduces paperwork for the patient and the team.
These are some benefits when you enable patients to complete intake work online.
Focus more on people, not data entry
Your time with patients is already limited. Patient care quality and provider satisfaction benefit from an experience that feels more like a conversation and less like an interview. Patients will appreciate the convenience of not rushing through paperwork in the office before a provider sees them.
Minimize errors and missing information
By eliminating the step of reading through and relying on patients’ written responses and entering them into a system, you are less likely to see data entry errors or blank spaces.
Stop struggling to decipher a patient’s handwriting
Some patients have—unique handwriting. Trying to understand scribbled handwriting jotted down on a clipboard is tedious and prone to error. Let’s leave this in the past.
Avoid data duplication and gaps in critical details
These errors are common with written intake processes but less with digital patient intake forms. When medical intake forms are filled out online before the appointment, there’s little risk of forgetting important documents at home. This supports less stress and fewer delays before the physician sees the patient.
Increase intake efficiency
By streamlining your patient intake process in one integrated IT solution, your practice can operate efficiently with minimal effort placed on your staff.
Digitizing the intake process allows patients to submit information before their visits:
- Demographic information
- Consent forms
- Administrative and clinical forms
- Copay and balance collection
When your patients enter the doors of your practice, is their information automatically where it should be in the EHR and practice management system? If not, this is your sign to make a change.
Fewer papers on the front desk reflect a more streamlined approach to patient intake. When patients can complete their intake forms online, it adds another feather to your cap in making the patient experience as convenient as possible.
Don’t be surprised if your patient feedback is significantly more positive after implementing an integrated, online intake solution.
This article was originally published on the NextGen Healthcare blog and is republished here with permission.