Organizing Patient Documents

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June 30, 2017 | Aptus Associates

One of the common struggles for any service who deals with the health and wellbeing of patients is the organization of pre-care forms. Before a patient can be seen by your healthcare clinic, he or she is aware they will be required to fill out forms and provide certain documents. What the patient can’t be sure of, however, is of how difficult this process might be. It’s your job as a primary healthcare clinic to provide your patients with forms that are easy to follow and simple to fill out with the required information.

These tips can help you begin to organize your clinic’s forms in a responsible and reliable way.

Make sure the font is big enough

An effective pre-care form is one that can be read by any persons regardless of age or health status. For the convenience of your visually impaired patients, make sure the font size on your forms is large and bolded on the highlights. If you take care to stay away from font style mishaps like too many capitals or not enough space between lines, you can ensure a smooth and relaxed reading pace for your customers.

Additionally, easy to understand forms help your patients fill out more information on their own, allowing your employees to focus less on collecting essential information and more on analyzing it.

Focus on the minimum required

A short form that gathers all information required is more tolerable than a long form that asks for unnecessary specifics. There is a noticeable gray area regarding required information in the healthcare field, but that shouldn’t prevent you or your employees from attempting to determine the difference between what is absolutely needed and what can be omitted.

More specialized inquiries can be included on separate forms if certain, usually non-essential, information is required from a patient. From there, it’s up to your office and its staff to determine if a patient needs to provide more information than is standard. This way, no one is frustrated with long forms asking them questions that don’t apply to them.

Invest in a more robust file management system

Best case scenario for your patient is not having to fill out a form at all! If your staff is able to keep records in a reliable, easily accessed file management system, much of the information provided by forms can be repeated and made unnecessary on return visits. Only a quick review and signature by the patient is needed to confirm the information. Improved file systems can even be used to email essential documents directly to patients before they come in for their appointments.

Regardless of your continued efforts to improve your clinics’ forms, there’s always going to be some sort of required information you’ll be needing from your patients. By making the information gathering process less of a chore, you’ll be improving the overall experience of your appointments and ensuring that your patients get the best possible care with the least amount of personal time invested.