Many industries are shifting their operations to keep up with digital demand, and healthcare is no exception. Medical centers are notorious for their large amounts of paperwork, including registration forms, laboratory test results, payment information, and much more.
You may struggle to remember the last time you filled out a paper form at the dentist, physician’s office, or another medical practice. That’s because paper forms are quickly declining due to the efficiency, accuracy, security, and affordability of paperless patient check-in.
Many healthcare organizations are moving from physical forms to digital patient check-in using text- and email-based platforms. Patients and their caretakers can fill out registration and payment information at their convenience from a secure digital platform. Furthermore, medical staff can easily upload and access this data from an online database. Read on to discover the benefits of electronic patient intake forms for healthcare organizations.
5 benefits of digital patient intake forms
A study of over 1,000 consumers in the United States shows that 80% of patients prefer using digital channels, such as virtual appointments and online messaging, to communicate with healthcare providers at least some of the time (Business Wire, 2021). Below are some advantages of electronic patient registration and why it has become so favorable among consumers.
1. Reduced printing and mailing expenses
Physical registration forms can involve hundreds of pieces of paper daily, significantly increasing costs. There are also expenses from printer ink, toner, and physical storage methods to account for. Digital patient intake forms are a great way to reduce your healthcare organization’s spending and save a few trees.
2. Increased staff efficiency
Digital patient forms can help save time and optimize workflow. This is ideal in a fast-paced healthcare environment requiring efficient, precise outcomes. Switching to a digital intake process minimizes the time spent on paper-based transactions. It provides quick, accurate electronic management of patients’ documentation.
Your front office staff no longer has to distribute physical forms and explain to patients what they need to fill out. Additionally, patients don’t have to complete similar forms repeatedly, as their information is now stored in a secure digital database.
It only takes one or two setbacks to throw everything off during the check-in stage. Digital patient check-in can significantly improve the process, especially for healthcare centers that see a large influx of patients daily.
3. A better patient experience
By reducing the time patients spend completing forms and sitting in the waiting room, you can get them into their appointments faster. Decreasing wait times allows physicians to tend to more patients in a day.
Because they cut down time spent during the check-in process, electronic patient intake forms allow staff to focus more on patient-critical tasks. Additionally, they give medical practitioners the most accurate Protected Health Information (PHI), thus improving their decision-making.
Many patients don’t enjoy filling out forms and being unprepared when providing their healthcare history. Luckily, digital medical forms allow them to fill out their information from the comfort of their home. They can provide the most accurate information possible without the pressure of time constraints. When considering all of these factors, electronic registration can be an excellent way to boost patient experience and satisfaction.
4. Greater data accuracy
The traditional method of writing and transcribing PHI can interfere with patient data accuracy and integrity. For example, poor handwriting can cause discrepancies in patient charts, compromising medical decision-making.
Transferring written data from a physical form to the computer can cause typos in addresses, social security numbers, and other information. Even seemingly minor inaccuracies can result in serious mistakes. Patient charts should always be as accurate as possible to ensure they receive the best care.
Digitizing patient registration eliminates the writing and transcription process, improving the overall accuracy and integrity of patient information. The patient types in their data, which is uploaded directly to their chart and stored in a secure online format. Patient registration software helps ensure the most accurate, up-to-date information.
5. Enhanced patient security and privacy
Privacy concerns regarding patient data are increasingly prevalent in healthcare environments. In 2022, an average of 1.94 medical data breaches involving 500 or more records were reported daily (The HIPAA Journal, 2023). Factors like negligent paper medical file handling or personal data theft can contribute to this fraud.
As a healthcare provider, it’s crucial to comply with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations to ensure secure, confidential PHI. While paper records are susceptible to theft and damage, electronic patient intake forms offer a safer way to access and manage PHI. They allow the appropriate medical practitioners and patients to access them as needed in a secure online database.
Safely storing and managing confidential patient data is critical in healthcare institutions. Your organization’s compliance and reputation depend on it. Digital medical forms are a secure and convenient way to access, view, and store private information. Just remember that the digital system must comply with HIPAA and other existing healthcare guidelines to avoid compromising patient privacy.
As of 2021, nearly 90% of physicians in the U.S. have employed electronic medical record-keeping (HealthIT.gov, 2021). Digital intake forms are revolutionizing check-in, helping healthcare organizations reduce costs, save time, enhance security, ensure more accurate data, and increase patient satisfaction. It’s easy to see why this method has rapidly gained traction over the past few years and why it is the future of patient registration.
How Rectangle Health’s Practice Management Bridge® can help your practice
If you are looking to shift to digital registration and reap the benefits of electronic intake forms, Practice Management Bridge® by Rectangle Health is your solution. Our electronic forms are completely HIPAA-compliant, letting you text or email patients a link to registration and payment forms directly from your workplace.
You can enjoy the following features and benefits with Practice Management Bridge®:
- Convenient form completion: Patients can fill out forms before their appointments, eliminating the need to arrive early to complete paperwork.
- Contactless check-in: Practice Management Bridge® provides a hands-free check-in process so you don’t have to exchange clipboards and pens with patients constantly.
- Higher accuracy: Patients can type in the information at their leisure instead of rushing to complete forms, increasing data accuracy.
- Streamlined data entry: Rather than manually copying information from paper forms, Practice Management Bridge® lets you upload digital forms into your electronic records, simplifying data entry for your staff.
- Simple payment: You can collect payment information from patients in advance, placing their preferred card on file for future transactions. You don’t have to wait until the end of appointments to discuss payments.
- Business Wire (2021, December 7). 80% of Patients Prefer to Use Digital Communication to Interact with Healthcare Providers and Brands. Retrieved from https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20211207005040/en/80-of-Patients-Prefer-to-Use-Digital-Communication-to-Interact-with-Healthcare-Providers-and-Brands.
- HealthIT.gov (2021). Office-based Physician Electronic Health Record Adoption. Retrieved from https://www.healthit.gov/data/quickstats/office-based-physician-electronic-health-record-adoption.
- The HIPAA Journal (2021). Healthcare Data Breach Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.hipaajournal.com/healthcare-data-breach-statistics/.