Understanding the Patient Intake Process

An essential part of the healthcare business is good patient /provider communication. To improve the patient/care-provider communication and the quality of healthcare services a facility could use the technology of the internet. Businesses in insurmountable numbers are using internet to improve their services. In fact the only major industry resisting the use of the worldwide web as we use it in other sectors of the economy today is the healthcare industry (Dixon, 2010). One way to make patient intake more efficient would be to design a website so the patients could log-in to make appointments or to cancel an appointment.

The site could also be used by new patients to fill out the necessary patient information that is needed by the healthcare facility. This website would be very beneficial to the healthcare facility as well as the patients, by cutting down on the time spent doing paperwork. While decreasing the paperwork the physician will have more time to spend with the patient to clearly explain what is going on with their body The intake process for patients varies from facility, whether it is an office, hospital or clinic. Unfortunately, the intake process takes longer than the actual time that the patients spend seeing the physician.

There are numerous papers that have to be filled out and this information has to be entered into that facilities filing system, this is done either on paper or electronically. One other way to improve on patient intake would be to computerize the patient records Paper patient’s records are proving to be increasingly inadequate to meet the modern information needs of the group practices. Computerizing patient records can improve the physician access to patient information and thereby also improve patient care and the outcomes of the management aspect of the business.

By investing in computerized patient records system the healthcare facilities can increase their revenues by saving on labor costs associated with patient records retrieval, photocopying, filing, and other processes involved in patient intake.. Most healthcare facilities view paper charts as an inefficient way for retrieving and transferring information, are labor-intensive to maintain and the paperwork requires a large amount of storage space. It is also extremely difficult to turn the data in paper records into understandable and meaningful information.

Therefore, physicians and healthcare facility managers are turning to computerized patient records to improve access to patient information, to provide better care for their patients, and improve the outcome of the management records. Although, computerizing patient records will require careful planning, selecting a system that is right for any particular healthcare facility can be accomplished. In specifying the features and functions needed in a computerize patient records system, physicians and office staff should keep in mind these changes in the work process.

Some important system features to consider include, multiple system security access levels, ad hoc query and reporting, remote access to the system, open system architecture to integrate and/or interface ancillary, transcription, patient appointment scheduling and practice management. Implementing specific components or functions of computerize patients records rather than total records automation is an option some practices will choose so they can receive some of the benefits without having to overhaul the entire patient records system.

Many healthcare facilities are finding that patient records are failing to meet their advanced information needs. Computerizing patient records provides many benefits to these practices. Currently, 30 percent of all patient visits are completed without access to the patient charts; says the American Medical Association (AMA).. If the overall intake process is chaotic and unorganized, there will be an increase time spent waiting to see the care provider, which will lead to the patients being cranky and unsatisfied. This may lead to a reduction in the providers’ patient count.

By computerizing the patient records , both physician and practicing staff can access patients’ records quicker than before, increase efficiency and improving the quality of care that the patient will receive. If the healthcare facilities computerize the patient records, this will reduce the amount of time spent on paperwork and improve the work flow as well. Computerizing the patient records enables the physicians to see more patients for longer periods of time, thus, heightening patient’s perceived quality of care and improve patient retention rates.

Physicians will also care more easily for and update records on associate’s patients. Computerize records will reduce medication errors, and malpractice claims associated with them, by improving physicians’ access to a patient’s completed medical records and providing an automatic drug interaction alert. This could lead to a reduction in the cost of medications usage in the healthcare facilities and a potential reduction in malpractice premiums.

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