It's well understood that first impressions are the most important—and longest lasting. Which is why cutting corners on your intake form is a false economy.
Your intake paperwork is the first clinical impression a new patient receives. And their willingness to fully complete your paperwork is a way patients "test" you and your attention to detail. This is an often-overlooked subtlety, which requires a vigilant CA at your front desk.
Here are some pointers about your new patient admitting paperwork:
- Use an Intake Form that collects the essential information needed to build a strong case. Remember, if it isn't written down it wasn't said and didn't happen. (See what we offer below.)
- Make your Intake Form available on your website or by fax so patients can complete your paperwork before they show up for their first visit.
- Have a team member inspect the intake form for completeness prior to initiating the consultation, reminding the patient that knowing their medical history is essential so "...the doctor can provide the best care possible."
Realize if you tell the new patient that you expect something from them (100% completion of their intake forms) and you do not hold them to that standard, you are in essence telling the new patient "we really don't mean what we say – you can do what you want here in our practice." That is NOT how you want to start a lifetime relationship with your new patient.
When the new patient sees the data gathering as critical and completeness is the only acceptable standard, you will have a happier team, a happier doctor and a happier patient who will be receiving optimal care.
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