Practice owners, therapists, and especially front office staff – do you feel like your patient intake is stuck in the dark ages? You’re not alone. The healthcare industry has been slow to adopt new technology when it comes to this process. Phone calls, paperwork, insurance verifications – each task can take up hours of your day.
Fortunately there are some simple but effective ways to modernize your patient intake process. In this blog post, we’ll explore 7 secrets for taking the pain and manual work out of patient intake!
Time to Perfect Patient Intake With These Helpful Tools
Do you and your staff face countless hours on patient intake? Does filing paperwork, deciphering handwriting, and verifying insurance monopolize the bulk of your day? The patient intake process is a chore to a majority of practices. Unfortunately, the healthcare industry has been slow to modernize this process. As a result, you and your staff are overworked with minimal accomplishment. Patients today demand technological advances from medical practices. So stop doing the same ineffective routine everyday. It’s time to modernize your therapy practice. Understandably, it may seem daunting at first to overturn all of the processes you’ve set in place. Fortunately, there are easy, accessible ways to help digitize your workflow. With these highly effective steps you can optimize your patient intake and improve your practice!
Utilize Mobile Technology
Most patients prefer mobile sign up instead of patient portals. Digital patient intake software makes it possible for patients to receive intake forms straight to their smartphone or personal device and submit them directly to the therapy practice. This eliminates forgetfulness on the patient’s part and gives you the information you need before the client even walks through the door.
Additionally, the practice can send automated reminders and confirmations through text. This is highly effective in reducing no shows and cancellations. Billing information can also be sent by text, reducing outstanding balances and A/R. You may also want to consider two way texting as an added convenience for patients and staff. Check out 6 Ways Two-Way Texting Can Increase Your Therapy Business’s Revenue.
Offer Online Patient Scheduling
More patients are demanding online scheduling. More than 30% of Millennials, Gen Z and Gen Xer’s place importance on the ability to book appointments online. They can make an appointment on their own time and save your time too. Research shows that prioritizing this convenience leads to an increase of patient satisfaction. It also minimizes staff’s workload and frees time to focus on more important matters than answering and returning phone calls. Another perk is that the online scheduling systems operate 24/7. Clients can schedule appointments on their own time and not depend on business hours to call the therapy office.
Utilize Automated Patient Forms
Save time and reduce data entry errors with automated patient intake. When patient intake is automated, a practice can digitally collect forms and information prior to a client’s first visit. The patient intake form can be sent by mobile phone or email for patients to fill out. Then the data will automatically sync to your EHR. In addition, you can customize your practice’s automated patient form so it adapts according to your patient’s answers. This removes questions not pertaining to the individual and shows the provider only relevant information.
You can also decrease the number of signatures required by grouping sections together. Using automated patient forms and patient intake software increases office productivity by 20 percent as it saves 6-12 minutes of valuable time per patient. Not to mention the amount of money the office saves by reducing paper and ink costs. Moreover, make sure to include questions such as who their referring doctor is or how they heard of the practice. This can provide you extra data to boost your marketing efforts. Without the mounds of paperwork for intake, patients can relax before their appointments and office staff can focus on more important tasks.
Establish a Solid Insurance Verification Process
To ensure smooth patient intake, implement digital insurance eligibility verification before your new patient’s initial appointment. You can include a document/photo upload via your automated patient intake for easy collection of insurance information. This will allow patients to upload important information off of their insurance cards removing the necessity of front desk staff to manually enter data. With the traditional method, insurance verification must be done directly with the payer. Modern practice management systems provide real-time insurance verification and explanation of benefits. This is an easy way to reduce mistakes, minimize data entry and ensure the correct information is available when you file a claim.
Set up a Patient Referral Program
Knowing who referred your patients may be crucial during the authorization process. There is however another reason to collect this type of data. You can turn the collected information into marketing research. A patient referral program can help identify how new clients are learning about your practice. Asking and logging which physician referred them or how they heard of the practice is a good place to start. Afterwards, you can determine which avenues of marketing are effective and worth pursuing. You can even give rewards to patients who refer other clients to the practice. This can incentivize patients to stay with the practice and utilize the existing client base for growth.
Maintain a Helpful Online Presence
Including a patient inquiry form on your website can also prove beneficial. It can act as the first step to your therapy client intake. Make sure it includes the potential client name, contact information, insurance, availability and reason for appointment. Additionally, an inquiry form will allow office workers to contact patients that may not be able to reach the office during busy hours.
What are you waiting for?
It may seem daunting to make the transition from a traditional medical practice to a modern, tech savvy clinic. However, the patient intake process doesn’t have to be difficult and time consuming. With the right planning and technology you can streamline your therapy client intake. Staff will cease to be overwhelmed by burdensome tasks and patients can relax during their appointments. If front office staff feel that their job is efficient and easy, they’ll have a more welcoming disposition toward patients, ensuring return. This will leave both your clients and staff much happier in the long run.