Online Patient Intake Forms – Making it Easier for Both Patient and Provider

They say a really bad memory  is something that never leaves you. The visceral aspects of it lodge itself into the deep recesses of your subconscious mind where those experiences are forever stored in your memory. Sometimes, out of nowhere, that unpleasant  thought rudely interrupts an otherwise benign moment, triggered by some chance incident.

That was me on this day. The bad memory hit me like a ton of bricks and took me back to having the worst possible case of stomach flu about eight years ago - me along with my three young boys. It also happened to be at a time when my wife was traveling on a business trip to Chicago and probably at the time was enjoying a dirty martini with her colleagues.

One minute we were watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the television and the next, my four-year -old son and I were simultaneously running to the toilets in my house. The two-year old twins - well, I probably went through eight sets of soiled diapers before I knew we had reached DEFCON 4 and it was time to rush to an urgent care as soon as possible.

It was a battle of epic proportions.

Once I was able to garner enough strength to drive to a medical facility a few hours later with my entire clan, the fun was far from over. In my panicked, delusional and extremely dehydrated state, I forgot my insurance cards at home. The urgent care facility was packed with equally miserable patients who looked no better off than us.

The stoic front office manager handed me a clip board (four of them) and asked me in the most monotone and non-engaged voice to fill these long, tenuous, extremely small-font forms out with our medical history, symptoms and insurance information. Oh, and I left my reading glasses at home, so I was practically blind.

As you can imagine, having to manually fill out four cumbersome patient intake forms with three screaming kids who have now begun to resume their projectile activities, was an effort rife in futility. In short, it took about 40 plus minutes (50 if you include my own bathroom excursions) to get the forms filled and submitted.

Let’s not forget I had to call my wife to have her take a picture of our insurance cards, text it to me, and then have me email it to the office manager who refused to let me just read it to her. Then we had to wait another hour before the medical assistant called our names to come back to see the doctor. It was pure hell. 

Fast forward eight years later, I still ponder how this travesty could have been averted to some degree and the answer is surprisingly simple - Online Patient Intake Forms.

Online Patient Intake Forms

Online patient intake forms allow medical practices to leave the cluster and confusion of paper forms behind. Front office staff and patients especially love them because they remove manual and redundant steps from the entire patient intake experience.

Equally important, online patient intake forms reduce errors caused by manual data entry (like when caused by a horrific stomach flu) and saves time for front office and billing staff through the seamless integration with a practice’s patient engagement solution.

I would have really appreciated these online forms prior to heading to the urgent care because I would have been able to fill them out at home before we left and skip the frustration of filling out numerous forms in the waiting room before we received care.

Kareo Patient Intake with Consent Forms

At Kareo, we have an online patient intake solution that is best of breed in the industry. Kareo’s Online Patient Intake Solution provides a simple and intuitive experience for entering demographics, basic insurance information, emergency contact(s), payment information, pharmacy and referral source.

In fact, Kareo just added consent form capabilities to our online intake form solution. A consent form sets forth the purpose, benefits, risks and other information necessary that allows patients to make an informed, voluntary decision to move forward with the procedure.  It is signed and dated by the patient prior to a medical procedure to confirm that he or she has agreed to the terms of that practice.

It is ultimately considered a process with the important goal of providing patients with the opportunity to be an informed participant of their healthcare plan.  Examples include, but not limited to, consent to treatment, office policies, HIPAA release, confidentiality agreement, etc.

With Kareo’s online patient intake form capabilities, both the medical practice and disgruntled patient are happy for the following reasons:

Practice Efficiency From the Start

Medical practices are set up for success. This process reduces errors from manual patient data entry and increases automated front office workflows to get paid faster and improve patient satisfaction.

Nurture More Satisfied Patients

Easy to use, online patient intake helps reduce the stress of medical visits and improves the overall patient experience.

Faster Reimbursement With Less Effort

With having accurate patient demographics and insurance information prior to the appointment, you can check eligibility and reduce claim rejections and denials that slow down reimbursement.

In conclusion, my family and I still get the stomach bug and I still get taken back to that dark day that will forever be imbedded in my psyche. The only difference is I now make sure whenever my family and I go to medical offices for emergency visits or standard medical check-ups, I have access to online patient Intake forms, if available.

If you don’t already have online patient intake forms for your practice, check out what Kareo has to offer and other ways we can help improve the experience of your patients and save time for your practice. Visit us at - your patients and staff will love you for it!

About the Author

Sonny Singh is the Director for the Product Marketing and Partner Alliances departments at Kareo. He has a combined experience of 20 plus years in the tech industry...

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