7 Scenarios in Which You Need Digital Patient Forms 

Author: Ravi Kalidindi
A stethoscope sits next to a tablet with a digital patient form pulled up on the screen.

Many practices and healthcare organizations want to go paperless, and why not? The benefits are abundant: reduced costs, improved workflow, less burden on staff, and more.

Still, many medical facilities miss out on the full benefit of moving to digital patient forms by adopting them only in a few obvious areas.

For example, some practices use a digital kiosk for check-in, but hand out paper intake forms to new patients. The kiosk facilitates faster check-in for existing patients, but the paper forms still cause waiting room delays, require manual data entry from staff, and necessitate all those recurring print materials costs the offices were trying to eliminate (printers, scanners, ink).

To see a full return on your investment, you’ll need to deploy digital patient forms throughout your entire operation.

We realize this can be easier said than done. Maybe you haven’t found a vendor with the flexibility needed to apply digital forms in all areas of your practice. Or, maybe you’ve had trouble pinpointing all the opportunities for digital patient forms in your workflow.

For the former, we recommend evaluating different platforms to make sure you get the customization and flexibility you need. For the latter, keep scrolling! Below, we outline seven examples of prime areas to implement digital forms in your facility.

The list isn’t comprehensive — because the possibilities vary with every organization. Rather, it’s a solid starting point to help you make sure your most important areas are covered and to spark your inspiration for identifying other opportunities for making your practice completely paperless. 

Quote: 7 Scenarios in Which You Need Digital Patient Forms

Scenario #1: New Patient Intake

New patients require a lot of data capture, including demographic data, insurance information, medical history, history of present illness, screenings, and signed legal forms.

Digital patient intake forms allow you to gather all this data — and more — in a legible, complete, and compliant manner. With proper integration, your system will even push this data into the patient record in your EMR, saving your staff a significant amount of time on manual data entry.

Scenario #2: New Patient Second Complaint Visit

For facilities comprising different specialties, new patients with two separate complaints may need to see two different physicians.

Since the practice already has much of the patient’s information after the initial visit, it would be redundant (not to mention annoying) to have them fill out new patient forms again for their visit to the second specialist. All you really need is information specific to the second complaint, such as history of the present illness, a pain diagram, and/or additional screenings and consents.

Achieving this level of customizability with paper forms can be difficult and costly. However, customizable, dynamic digital patient forms make this level of flexibility easy and convenient.

Scenario #3: Digital Check-In

It’s valuable to have patients complete most of their check-in activities a day or two before their appointment. Digital patient check-in allows patients to update their contact information, verify insurance information, make payments, complete health screenings, review medical history, and complete legal and consent forms from the comfort of their homes before arriving at the office.

This significantly reduces delays in the waiting room and burden on your staff.

Scenario #4: Ad-Hoc Consent Forms

Sometimes, when a patient sees a provider, they may require an in-office procedure. Before the procedure can occur, they must sign a consent form to permit treatment.

Paper consent forms can get lost or misplaced, which may impact reimbursement. With a digital consent form, however, the provider can simply hand the patient a tablet with the proper form pulled up — even in the exam room — to capture the necessary information and signatures. Your digital forms system can generate a signed PDF and automatically upload it into the patient record in your EMR. This ensures no delays in treatment and reduces the risk of misplaced paperwork and reimbursement delays. 

Scenario #5: Health Outreach Campaign

After you’ve implemented digital forms and gone completely paperless, you can look into leveraging forms in your patient outreach campaigns. In addition to informing patients about their care options, you can make outreach campaigns more powerful by making it easier for patients to respond and provide more relevant data.

A common example of call-to-action type patient health outreach campaigns would be to send a health program application form to qualifying patients. For instance, you might send patients eligible for free breast cancer and cervical cancer screenings a link to a digital application form. Based on the captured data, if they qualify for the program, your staff can reach out to the patient to schedule an onsite screening.

Scenario #6: Referral Tracking

After a primary care practice refers a patient to a specialist, it’s important for them to close the referral loop and monitor the patient’s further care.

Referral tracking forms can be sent to patients for follow-up and to gather feedback. This particular digital patient form allows patients to confirm whether they visited the specialist and share appointment results. If the patient hasn’t seen the specialist, they can explain why.

For example, a patient may not have the financial means to see a referred specialist. In that case, the primary care facility could connect the patient with a care coordinator to help them find a financial assistance program or an alternative provider so they get the treatment they need.

Scenario #7: Provider-Facing Forms

In certain circumstances, a provider may want to enhance a patient’s chart in the EMR with additional information about their assessment, recommended treatment, and other details from the appointment. This is a unique scenario where more information is needed than the EMR alone can accommodate.

Having a digital form to capture this information and automatically generate and push a PDF into the EMR is ideal, as opposed to using paper forms that can get lost or misplaced.

Infographic: 7 Scenarios in Which You Need Digital Patient Forms

Go Completely Paperless With Simple Interact’s Flexible Digital Patient Forms

While these scenarios aren’t all the ways digital patient forms can be used, they are several of the most common applications we frequently see for Simple Interact.

If you’d like your healthcare organization to go completely paperless, it’s crucial to find a front-office automation platform that supports all these scenarios and offers enough customization to additional use cases that may be unique to you.

To experience the full results of going paperless, digital forms must be used throughout the entire practice — which is why so many healthcare organizations use Simple Interact for digital solutions.

Simple Interact offers the most customizable and unified platform on the market, making it easy to go completely paperless with digital patient forms. Contact us to request a demo, and please reach out with any questions you may have in the meantime.

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