Patient Forms: Digital vs. Hard Copy
Patient forms have a lot of uses in your practice. In addition to patient intake forms, you might also be using forms for wellness surveys or to generate feedback about your practice.
Many practices continue to use hard copy forms and deliver them manually. One of the innovations in dental software, specifically patient communication software, has been the introduction of digital, or online, patient forms.
One of the key ways that digital patient forms can create workplace efficiencies is by saving time on manual tasks. There is always a business side to running a dentistry practice. Saving on manual tasks fundamentally means saving on paid time – paid time that your staff could be putting to other uses.
This is where digital patient forms come in! Here are three ways that digital patient forms can provide efficiencies for your practice.
#1: Patient Forms: Saving Space, Securing Information
With hard copy forms, the organization has to be done manually. Many offices will be familiar with this – old filing cabinets that take up plenty of office space filled with stacks of paperwork. Sometimes, files get mixed up or filed incorrectly. Keeping hard copy patient information on your premises can also be a risk if your practice is broken into or experiences some kind of physical damage, such as a fire.
Digital patient forms are also all stored in one place – it’s just that that space is a lot smaller! Digital forms are organized in such a way that they can be directly connected to the patient’s other information. This makes it particularly easy to access which forms can be sent to which patient. This is a key part of accessibility for your staff. The forms are all stored in a place that every staff member has easy access to at their workstation. This is true even if the workstation is moving! For example, many dentists now work on their feet from laptops or tablets. This allows them to access pertinent information on the go as they serve their patients.
In addition, many forms of software tools will enable you to sync email and home addresses into the broader platforms that you use. Linking up this patient information is a great way to increase efficiency!
An important concern for every dentistry practice, of course, is keeping patient information stored securely. All digital form tools must be HIPAA and PIPEDA compliant. This guarantees that your patients’ information is protected and confidential.
Switching to a digital patient forms database truly offers a significant time-savings measure to your staff.
#2: Customization with Digital Patient Forms
There are several different types of patient forms that your practice needs to administer. Each one will speak to the varied information needs of your practice.
For example, you might use forms for:
- Patient intake
- Scheduling purposes
- Medical history
- Pre- and post-procedure instructions
- Consent for a minor
- Health surveys
- And more!
A key way to meet these informational needs is through customization. Customizing forms to an appointment type, for example, allows you to hone in on what information you do and don’t need from the patient.
Digital patient forms can help to make this process more efficient. Many digital forms tools will allow you to create customizable forms. Then, with a patient communication tool, automating the sending of those forms according to patient and appointment type allows you to hone in that customization even further.
This allows you to send forms not only more quickly, but with greater accuracy. Customizing forms to suit your informational needs will reduce the likelihood of errors, saving time for you in the future.
One example of customization can be seen with health surveys. These forms have become extremely commonplace with the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, different regions and clinics will have different requirements to ensure that a patient is well enough to come into the practice for their appointment. Being able to customize your health surveys allows you to ask those key questions.
For the varied informational needs of your practice, customizing forms is a key way to increase efficiencies in the collection of information and delivery of forms. Digital patient forms facilitate that efficiency. Utilizing a digital forms tool can make a huge difference in your practice!
Intiveo is proud to offer several free templates to show you what kinds of customizations are possible with your forms!
#3: Making Patient Intake Forms Easy with Automation
One of the most significant ways that digital patient forms can increase efficiency is through automation processes. An online forms tool serves to decrease the amount of time your staff spends on forms logistics. This goes further than just having a digital database for all your forms, decreasing office clutter.
What allows for this reduction in time spent on forms logistics is the ability to send forms digitally. The time savings on sending forms digitally instead of manually cannot be overstated!
For example, think of the time it might take a patient to fill out an intake form before an appointment. Sometimes, even when a patient has been asked to come in early to fill out paperwork, they are late and that takes up time for the appointment. Perhaps the allotted amount of time to fill out the paperwork is shorter than the time they need. It’s also possible that they need to provide information on the form that they don’t have access to at the moment, like a health number or insurance number.
With digital patient forms, you can automate sending forms so that your patients are filling them out in the comfort of their own homes. Not only does this increase the likelihood that the forms will be filled out on time, but it also allows your staff to move this process outside of office time. Automating the sending of these forms during work hours, because your patients are filling them out on their own time.
It doesn’t stop with patient intake forms. The ability to send out wellness screenings in advance contributes to the health of patients and staff alike. Plus, you can customize your wellness screenings to include a rescheduling option if your patient is too sick to come in.
The Intiveo Forms Add-On
At Intiveo, we saw an uptick in the use of digital patient forms as the pandemic progressed. We knew that this called for careful consideration of what our clients needed. So, we took our time creating the Intiveo Forms Add-On.
This tool is designed to simplify and save time on your patient intake process, while also allowing you to manage your forms and information in one location. This is an all-in-one tool that provides your practice with:
- Expertly crafted templates that you can further customize
- Automatically send form reminders to support your patients in filling out forms on time
- Customize these reminders according to procedure type
- Track completion progress to see who has filled out forms and who hasn’t
- Save on operational costs
Of course, Intiveo Forms is also completely HIPAA and PIPEDA compliant. In addition, we have made the software adaptable to regional PHI requirements, so that you can maintain the appropriate level of compliance for where your practice is.
One of the key features of this product is robust form reporting. This feature allows you to keep track of who has filled out which required forms. Knowing the completion rate can help with sending reminders so that patients provide the required information before they come into their practice. These reminders are built into the platform on top of the appointment reminder feature, making it easy!
At Intiveo, we are always moving toward innovations like our Intiveo Forms Add-On to bring our clients added value! Book a meeting today to learn more.
Your Practice & Patient Forms
When it comes to patient forms, going digital can create a number of efficiencies for your practice! We list three different ways here, but there are more efficiencies to discover when you make the change to online forms. Customizability, efficient storage, and automated online forms are just some of the ways you can bring added value to your patients.
The future is bright with digital forms!