When was the last time you filled out a paper form? It seems like the days of paper forms are disappearing due to the rising demand for paperless transactions. The healthcare industry is generally known for its immense amount of paperwork. Medical staff and patients fill out forms such as patient registration and intake materials, health records, laboratory test results, clinical results, receipts, and other necessary documents.
Most industries now are shifting paperwork into digitized forms sent via email or messaging platforms. Digitizing healthcare includes using technology to streamline processes such as patient intake and registration.
Today, healthcare institutions and professionals are investing in replacing paper forms with electronic documents. Patients and their caretakers can fill out any necessary paperwork online — from the comfort of their homes.
Digital Patient Form Benefits
1. Cuts down unnecessary expenses
Printing, scanning, and mailing patient forms don’t cost a lot. But when it all adds up over time including the time it takes a member of your staff to complete these tasks, it could be a larger expense than you thought. Shifting to electronic records reduces the physical costs of paper, printer ink and toner, and physical storage, as well as the time needed to transfer and record patient information.
2. Improves data accuracy
Let’s face it, some handwriting is almost impossible to decipher. As a result, even with the best intentions, clerical errors occur when your medical staff misreads handwriting and enters the wrong information into the patient’s records.
With digital forms, patients can accurately type their own data in a secured system with built-in form validation. This feature automatically detects incomplete data entry such as date of birth, social security numbers, and unspecific addresses.
Moreover, if a patient forgets to enter a piece of information into the form, they can always go back and edit the digital copy using their laptops or smartphones. Patients can also review their data for accuracy before submission leading to a faster and uninterrupted transaction.
3. Secures patient information
Privacy issues regarding patient records are a widespread concern in clinical settings. As a medical professional, you have to comply with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations regarding the security and confidentiality of protected health information (PHI).
With the right system, digital document management is a secure way to oversee the access and use of PHI, unlike paper-based records that are vulnerable to damage and theft. However, the digitization system must comply with existing healthcare regulations, such HIPAA, to avoid violating your patients’ privacy.
Additionally, storing digitized patient forms in a secured system lets the appropriate people access them as needed for patient care.
4. Saves time and reduces workflow
The healthcare setting is a fast-paced environment that demands quick, accurate, and efficient outcomes. Digitizing your intake process reduces the time associated with paper-based transactions. It also allows rapid and accurate electronic management of patients’ registration and documentation.
Digital patient forms free up the front office staff from handing out physical forms and briefing patients on what to fill out. Moreover, patients no longer have to repeatedly complete similar documents.
5. Boosts patient experience
According to a Black Book Market Research study, 93% of patients expect healthcare providers to use digital tools.
Offering a convenient healthcare experience to your patients improves their satisfaction levels. Electronic forms reduce the chances of patients becoming agitated in a busy waiting room. It allows them to make online appointments, register their personal information, and confirm their schedule from the comfort of their homes.
Moreover, you can also integrate digital patient surveys to measure satisfaction and improve your services. Patients are more likely to answer an online questionnaire rather than filling it out on a paper.
Digitizing forms promotes a simple and secure way of hosting unlimited data for healthcare organizations. Furthermore, digital patient intake is a game-changer in making the healthcare experience as seamless, secure, and accurate as possible. Its adoption is greatly encouraged by state governments, insurance companies, and other large medical institutions.