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Intake forms used to be completely on paper.
That is changing, though, as more physicians embrace EHR and begin empowering their practices through software.
Filling out an intake form online allows practices to reduce paper use and get more complete records from patients. It is also convenient, efficient, economical and effective.
Your EHR probably includes these capabilities, too. It does not hurt to ask your vendor for help or guidance with using online intake forms at your practice. They may offer training, too, to help you get started.
Depending on the EHR vendor you use, you may be able to create and customize your own intake form. When patients respond to questions, you can look at their charts to see their answers alongside their health information. This allows you to stay organized and keep their health data together.
Reminder emails that send out a link to the questionnaire are another great feature—that way, patients can securely complete the questions on their own time without worrying about having to give quick answers on the fly when they arrive.
Patients are also reminded about their upcoming appointments, making it easier for them to remember to attend their appointments and participate in their health. As they fill out the assessments, they are reminded about the visit’s importance to their health.
Because you receive the questionnaires before they arrive for their appointments, you have more time to review your patients’ answers. This can help you prepare better for upcoming appointments in the schedule. You can be more aware of what your patients need and what they are doing so you can make better recommendations.
There are even vendors that will auto populate a patients intake information into your SOAP notes. Thus, after they have filled out their assessment, whether at home or in your office, their information will automatically transfer into your chart note. Eliminating the need to manually enter in patient information, saving you and staff members time.
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Online intake forms and accuracy
One study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that using electronic intake forms might improve the completeness of information your patients provide.¹
The study’s authors believe people tend to answer more questions when completing an electronic form than they usually would with a paper-based intake form. You can take advantage of this in your practice and get more complete responses from your patients.
In some respects, online forms give you more control over the data. Patients can answer yes/no questions, fill out longer answers and provide other details. With paper, patients may be less restricted and may not provide information that is as useful as what you need.
Copying this data into an EHR system may be difficult, compared with asking people to provide this information in a digital format in the first place. With an online intake form there is no need to manually enter in new patient data as most forms allow for the patient’s responses to automatically populate into your chart note.
Paper-based forms, on the other hand, may encourage patients to skip over questions. This leaves you with holes in each patient health record. If the purpose of these forms is ultimately to gather information to help your patients, then noncompliance can make effective treatment more challenging.
Using online intake forms
Deciding to use online intake forms allows you to have patients complete intake questions in advance, but you can also use tablet computers in place of paper forms in your office.
If you choose to have your patients fill out some sort of in-office form, then you can use mobile technology such as tablet computers to help your office go paperless and connect the answers to patients’ health records.
ChiroTouch is the premier provider of certified 2014 Edition Complete EHR chiropractic software technology solutions including ChiroTouch Complete Practice Software and SmartCloud Chiropractic EHR Software. With industry-leading support, training, and compliance expertise, we partner with practices of every type to help them easily automate operations, improve patient care, and increase profitability. Request a demo today. Our six user-friendly, native iPad apps make documenting on the tablet easy and provide you with mobility to move room to room with patients. Native iPad apps provide a better user experience than web-based apps through improved speed and performance, as well as providing safety and security of the app, due to the requirements of apps in the Apple App Store.
- Barentsz, M. “Tablet, Web-Based or Paper Questionnaires for Measuring Anxiety in Patients Suspected of Breast Cancer: Patients’ Preferences and Quality of Collected Data.” J Med Internet Res. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4259914/. Published: October 2014. Accessed: September 2017.
- “7 Benefits of Using Online Patient Intake Forms.” https://intakeq.com/benefits-online-patient-intake-forms. Accessed: September 2017.