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Patient Forms for the Impatient – How mobile patient forms can increase patient satisfaction

Posted on October 27, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

The following is a guest blog post by Bogdan Lupu.

I work in a technology company. Most of my friends work in companies either handling technology or providing technology related services. In our day to day work it’s all about optimizing, streamlining and getting things to improve even if only by a little. It’s become a habit whenever dealing with something to ask the question, well how could this be better?

Now, having said all that, whenever I must go to the doctor or have a routine check I expect it to take up a whole day. That’s not true most of the times, but everything from the thought of making the appointment, being scheduled weeks after and then filling out the endless stream of forms make me feel impatient even before picking up the phone.

Imagine my surprise when I had to do a routine eye check-up and was told to book an appointment online on the clinic’s website.
patient-registration-form
The first thing I noticed was that the mobile appointment form was perfectly optimized for my phone. I could press everything without having to zoom in and out and it felt somehow natural.

The good surprises came rolling after. I got the scheduling confirmation directly via email and a link to save it in my calendar. After arriving and being greeted by the polite receptionist by name, I was asked to just go in and see the doctor. Having already filled out all the required information  when scheduling the appointment, there was no need for any other paper forms.

After my visit, I got an email and I was kindly asked to fill out their patient satisfaction survey.

It seems that customer experience is now a priority within the healthcare sector with patient engagement and secure data collection as their top priorities.

I’m looking forward to my next annual check-up.

E-Patient Update: Don’t Give Patients Needless Paperwork

Posted on July 6, 2016 I Written By

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.

Recently, I had an initial appointment with a primary care practice. As I expected, I had a lot of paperwork to fill out, including not only routine administrative items like consent to bill my insurer and HIPAA policies, but also several pages of medical history.

While nobody likes filling out forms, I have no problem with doing so, as I realize that these documents are very important to building a relationship with a medical practice. However, I was very annoyed by what happened later, when I was ushered back into the clinical suite.

Despite my having filled out the extensive checklist of medical history items, I was asked every single one of the questions featured on the form verbally by a med tech who saw me ahead of my clinical appointment. And I mean Every. Single. One. I was polite and patient as I could be, particularly given that it wasn’t the poor tech’s fault, but I was simmering nonetheless, for a couple of reasons.

First, on a practical level, it was infuriating to have filled out a long clinical interview form for what seemed to be absolutely no reason. This is in part because, as some readers may remember, I have Parkinson’s disease, and filling out forms can be difficult and even painful. But even if my writing hand was unimpaired I would’ve been rather irked by what seemed to be pointless duplication.

Not only that, as it turns out the practice seems to have had access to my medication list — perhaps from claims data? — and could have spared me the particularly grueling job of writing out all the medications I currently take. Given my background in HIT, I was forced to wonder whether even the checkbox lists of past illnesses, surgeries and the like were even necessary.

After all, if the group is sophisticated enough to access my medications list, perhaps it could have accessed my other medical records as well. In fact, as it turned out, the primary care group is owned by the dominant local health system which has been providing most of my care for 20 years. So the clinicians almost certainly had a shot at downloading my current medical data in some form.

Even if the medical group had no access to any historical data on my care, I can’t imagine why administrators would require me to fill out a medical history form if the tech was going to ask me every question on the form. My hunch is that it may be some wrongheaded attempt at liability management, providing the practice with some form of cover if somebody failed to collect an accurate history during the interview. But other than that I can’t imagine what was going on there.

The reality is, physician practices that are transitioning into EMR use, or adopting a new EMR, may end up requiring their staff to do double data entry to one extent or another as practice leaders figure things out. But asking patients to do so shows an alarming lack of consideration for my time and effort. Perhaps the practice has forgotten that I’m not on the payroll?