Technology has brought many revolutions in every industry and healthcare is no exception. The trend of digitalization has been widely accepted and embraced in the business world. Manual operations are changing into automated ones and paperless documents are replacing the paperwork. Desktop, laptops, and smartphones are everywhere and they can store and process a huge amount of information in seconds. And these devices have made health facilities start using paperless patient forms in place of hard copy forms.
Systems are widely used in health departments to provide automated medical assistant for patient registration and patient screening. The paperless forms are also supported by these systems. And these forms enable healthcare units to run more efficiently and smoothly. If you wish to learn more about what these forms are and what are their advantages for the health industry, continue reading.
What are Digital Patient Forms?
Nowadays, people don’t like using clipboards to fill forms. This is why most of the industries have to move to digital documents through text messages and email, newsstands, or both. The patients also expect healthcare organizations to use digital tools to interact with them, even during the intake process.
So, healthcare units are converting to electronic documents to enable patients to complete forms and questionnaires online or on a mobile tablet in your clinic before their appointments. Completed forms are imported into your EMR, offering a cohesive patient record. These forms help clinics to do patient screening even before he has arrived in the venue. And this practice ultimately saves doctors from making hasty decisions.
Some Problems with Paper Forms:
Day to Day Challenges:
Hardcopy forms have many problems for the office staff, patients, and doctors, thereby reducing their productivity and efficiency. And these problems include increased labor hours to file and arrange paper forms, limited access to the forms, manually tallying the information, illegible handwriting, paper forms getting lost in transit, and rigorous efforts of scanning, printing, and shredding. All in all, besides less productivity, fetching data through these forms has a great many chances of errors.
In the Times of the COVID-19 Pandemic:
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many industries to change their regular business operations and the health sector is no different. After the outburst of this pandemic, everybody wants to minimize the contact points to curb the spread of the virus.
With the evidence that coronavirus can survive for a period of time on paper surfaces, the need to go paperless became more important. Hence, to provide automated medical assistant and less physical contact, digital forms were introduced. And through these forms, pre-screening of the patients is done to ward off the pandemic.
Benefits of Digital Forms:
Using digital forms offers a number of benefits for both healthcare organizations and patients. These benefits include things like:
As with digital forms, patients themselves enter their health information, the chances of error are very minimal. Also, doing so eliminates the need for transcription at all. Patients while sitting in their homes and using their mobiles can access these forms and additional information directly to the system. They themselves verify the information and there will be no chance of errors of mishearing the information.
Secure Patient Data:
Unlike hardcopy forms, digital forms are very secure. There will be no chance of losing files or files going into the wrong hands. Hence, the data of the patient will never get compromised. And if anything of this sort happens, not only patient incur a great loss, but the facility will also have to face serious consequences. But with digital forms, you can store data on the cloud that the service provider is guarding 24/7.
Electronic health records increase the productivity and efficiency of healthcare while decreasing paperwork. The staff will have to fill fewer forms and that gives them time to do some more productive tasks. Doctors can prescribe medicines through the electronic system. Also, automatic reminders can help patients to reach the appointed time for check-ups.
Information sharing is very important to yield the best results and which is why EMRs allow sharing of information between disciplines, areas of expertise, pharmacies, hospitals, and emergency teams, as well as demand-driven. It gives access to data via mobile devices, enabling better and faster decision-making, especially in critical situations.
By using digital input forms, you are saving paper and ink costs and reducing printer maintenance, upgrades, and replacement. Digital patient forms also save money on file storage and professional file shredding services. All in all, switching to a fully digital workflow is environmentally friendly. Which is a major concern for many and can make your practice more attractive to a wider group of patients.