Please provide best practices around the processing of patient forms by large healthcare providers / organizations.
The current process of admitting patients into the health care system with their paperwork often involves a lengthy process that can easily be confused.
According to a 2015 Harvard Medical School study, patients spend and average of 121 minutes in a doctor's office when they schedule appointments. Of this time, 64 of those minutes are spent filling out forms and waiting for the doctor. Much of this is due to the masses of paperwork that patients must fill out before seeing a doctor, which then must be inputted into the system. As a result, the process used by many doctors offices takes tremendous amounts of time and leads to inefficiency.
In order to overcome this, many large health care organizations are working to implement a paperless system that includes a pre-registration process for patients. This procedure can potentially eliminate much of the time and filing that goes into the patient admittance process. Health care companies that utilize this process have the ability to integrate patient forms with other electronic systems used by the office, as well as to gather performance analytics to increase the quality of patient care. Below you will find a breakdown of how these techniques are implemented in health care organizations and the benefits that can arise from such processes, in addition to a few examples of what technology can be utilized to carry this out.
A pre-registration process is something that allows patients to fill out the necessary paperwork before coming to a health care office to see a doctor. This process saves times for both patients and doctors, and also helps to smooth the input of patient information into the medical system. When a patient books an appointment to see a doctor, offices can automatically send links to patients that contain all of the necessary information in order to place a patient into the health care system. Patients can fill these forms out online whenever they want, and as soon as they submit the information, it can automatically be filed into an electronic health record (EHR) system.
When these forms are filled out ahead of a patient arriving at a doctor's office for their appointment, the process of booking appointments and seeing patients becomes more efficient. Because less time is spent filling out paperwork in the office and manually inputting it into an online system, doctors can book more patients in a given day, and patients have a better experience. Additionally, by having patients fill these forms out ahead of time, insurance can be pre-validated. In the case that a patient's insurance is not accepted, additional steps can be taken prior to the appointment to resolve any issues.
The process of going paperless often includes a smooth pre-registration process for patients, but it also includes integration of all patient information obtained during an appointment. Policies, information on procedures, patient files, and medical records can all be saved through EHRs. Because this information is not kept on paper, the most accurate and up-to-date information can be available at any point in time across any device. This reduces environmental costs for health care organizations, but also eases the process of sending and updating files, along with any information that needs to go directly to a patient. In 2016, more than 40% of health care organizations reported having a paperless EHR, and 70% of them reported having greater confidence in patient information and overall efficiency.
Integration with other Electronic Systems
As more health care organizations begin to utilize pre-registration and online processes for organizing patient files, the ability to integrate this software with other related technology is becoming more prevalent. Other information that is obtained throughout a patient's time in a health care facility - such as prescriptions, lab results, and information on procedures - can also be combined with the information in a patient's electronic file. As patients are moved through the system, this technology can work to automatically submit lab results to a patient's electronic record within the EHR, and doctors can refill prescriptions through the same technology. By following this procedure of integration, 82% of health care facilities have reported saving time by filling prescriptions electronically, and 75% have reported that they receive accurate lab results more quickly. This technology helps to reduce errors within doctors' offices, and creates a bridge between patient forms and their medical information.
Gathering Analytics on Electronic Systems
For health care facilities that utilize electronic systems for patient files and other medical processes, many also have the technology to analyze the workings and efficiency of this process. Data is regularly collected pertaining to how forms are submitted by patients, what data is inputted by doctors, and how efficient the office as a whole is being. In terms of office efficiency, data collected and analyzed includes inventory and resource allocation, staffing levels, and individual workloads. By analyzing this data, health care offices are able to see where they need to improve for greater efficiency and patient care.
Examples of Electronic Systems
MocDoc HMS is an EHR that functions across the Cloud, SaaS systems, online, and mobile devices. This technology offers both in-person and online training for personnel to learn how to operate it. The following information can be managed through MocDoc HMS:
Clinicea is another EHR software that acts as a patient portal and a digital workplace for physicians. Multiple physicians can use this technology at the same time to carry out the following process:
MacPractice is an EHR software that offers integration of patient files and other medical information obtained throughout a patient's time in a health care facility. Through this technology, the following processes can be managed:
- Attachments of digital documents to patient files
- Clinical and demographic data of patients
Health care facilities that utilize the operations above of going paperless and integrating an online system into the medical process tend to see greater efficiency in overall procedures. When patients fill out forms online before even arriving for their appointments, less time is spent waiting to see a doctor, as well as less time manually inputting information into a digital system. Additionally, these digital systems can aid in collection of patient data and efficiency of the workplace. There are a wide variety of softwares available with the capability to carry out such processes, but the ones listed above are just a few.