200 years ago, paper forms led the way in office productivity. It may be hard to imagine, so let’s paint the picture. At the time, there were few options if you wanted a copy of a document, you can ask a printer to set the type and print copies. Or you can ask a case officer to handwrite the material. Paper forms improved productivity by utilizing printed instructions and space for users to enter their information. Unlike writing a patient description with every order or inquiry, this was a huge step forward. Today we have another opportunity: digital patient forms have arrived.
A comprehensive collection of patient data is essential to the patient-provider relationship. Collecting medical information from patients helps providers understand who their patients are or how they are being treated. With a complete data set, providers can make more accurate and efficient decisions. In this case, results show better patient outcomes, engagement, and experiences.
While traditional enrollment processes involve collecting health information from patients on paper forms. Plus, transcribing those documents into your records, so the digital patient enrollment forms are a much better alternative. Electronic health record vendors will improve the efficiency, accuracy, and ease of use across all charts and processes.
Basic Understanding of Digital Forms
Digital forms are general patient registration and admission forms that patients complete remotely or at the clinic on a smartphone or tablet. This process of using a secure HIPAA compliant platform to enter sensitive patient data is taking the healthcare industry by storm as the simple solution to a larger secure data storage problem. Electronic health record software improves clinical efficiency. Plus, reducing the time spent filling out forms manually and more time treating the patient.
5 Benefits of Digital Patient Forms
Below are the top reasons our health care system would benefit from the widespread transition from paper to digital record.
1: Save Money By Cutting Out Paper
By using digital forms, your practice saves paper and ink costs and reduces printer maintenance, upgrades and replacements. Digital forms also save money on file storage and professional file shredding services. Switching to a fully digital workflow is environmentally friendly, which is a major concern for many. It can make your practice more attractive to a wider group of patients.
2: Reducing Wait Times
By digitizing this process, providers can dramatically reduce wait times and crowds. This is incredibly important, as minimizing face-to-face interaction is vital to reducing the transmission of the coronavirus. The digital patient record allows your patients to fill out all the necessary documents online. So, they can visit their GP at home or wait in the car for a personal visit. Since patients do not have to occupy space in your waiting room, you control the number of people in your building at the same time.
3: Flexible System
Flexibility is key to enhancing the patient experience and improving the accuracy of patient registration. By giving their patients the time and flexibility they need with a digital recording, they can avoid the cumbersome and non-interactive process of recording on paper. The patient health record software gives patients the option to fill out their forms at their leisure or at a time that best suits their schedule.
4: Better Financial Experience
Patients hate surprises, especially financial ones. Talking with them about their financial responsibilities before the appointment. It can help reduce the anxiety they may worry about. It also cutoff wait times by eliminating the paperwork traditionally associated with the check-in. Finally, reducing hours helps optimize patient flow through the clinic so providers can spend more time with their patients.
5: Secure Patient Information
There is a growing perception that paper documents are more secure than a digital intake form, but it is not. Paper documents leave providers vulnerable to a host of data protection risks. If a paper document is lost, falls into the wrong hands, or is seen by the wrong person. So, your practice would violate HIPAA privacy laws.
Electronic health record vendors ensure that only authorized personnel can access patient data. If a patient leaves their screen unattended while completing the form, there will be a timeout. If a vendor forgets to log out of their chart, the system will automatically log out. Digital patient forms are much more secure than paper documents that could be left in the printer or in a keyless filing cabinet.
More and more patients are looking to their providers to offer digital solutions for things like scheduling and admission processes.