5 Signs Your Pre-Registration Process Needs an Upgrade
The Right Start to the Care Journey
Hospital stakeholders are putting special attention on streamlining the pre-registration process as organizations seek to accelerate admissions, improve patient experiences, and collect data.
This process starts with identifying outdated methods and finding better ways to streamline the collection of Patient-Generated Heath Data.
If you are currently using one of the five methods below for pre-registration, the time is NOW for your organization to adopt a more modern, patient-centered approach that will set the entire care journey on the right track.
1.) VIA MAIL
The Challenge: Too slow, costly & cumbersome
With this method, the patient requests that the organization mail them a packet of forms to complete at home.
This is inherently inefficient as a member of the care team must assemble a group of forms for the patient and mail them with the hope that the patient fills them out and sends them back before their visit.
If they do fill them out, the information is static on the paper forms and not very actionable until it’s re-keyed into the EHR.
Add in the time, labor, and expense of physically mailing forms, and it becomes clear that this method is not very practical for many organizations.
2.) VIA PHONE
The Challenge: Manual Errors & inefficiency
With this common approach, patients verbally share information with a staff member who then enters their data into the system.
As anyone who has played a game of “telephone” knows, this is naturally an error-prone, inefficient way to complete pre-registration as there are bound to be mistakes in recording the patient’s information.
Additionally, the expense of dedicated operators to take calls coupled with the negative patient experiences generated from waiting in call queues, make phone-base pre-registration less than ideal.
3.) VIA DOWNLOADED FORMS
The Challenge: Limited data & inconvenience
Another typical method of pre-registration is to encourage the patient to download forms from the website, print them, and fill them out by hand. Then the patient either scans and emails them, faxes them, or has to remember to bring the forms to their visit.
With this approach, the burden and frustration of paperwork shifts to the patient. Due to the inconvenience, patients often fail to comply and just wait to complete the forms in-office, defeating the purpose of pre-admissions.
Even in instances where patients do send forms in advance, there is little advantage because information still must be manually re-entered in the EHR or registration system.
4.) VIA WEB FORMS
The Challenge: Lack of EHR Integration
Some healthcare organizations are adding an online form to their facility’s website where patients can pre-register.
While this eliminates the problems with paper, many websites don’t have integration with the EHR or registration platform.
As a result, registrars must download form data from the website and re-key it into the clinical system, which results in manual errors and delays.
The technology used to create these web forms is often very limited, preventing certain types of information from being collected. In these cases, not all pre-admit steps can be completed, and the patient ends up doing extra work to complete the pre-registration workflow.
5.) VIA THE PATIENT PORTAL
The Challenge: Limited forms features
Pre-registration via the patient portal is another electronic method that’s common for hospitals, but many are frustrated to find the forms capabilities of these platforms to be lacking.
For instance, features like electronic signature, image capture, dynamic field display, and mobile-friendly form capabilities are also missing from many patient portals. These are features that both stakeholders and patients have grown to expect based on their use of consumer applications.
With some systems, the limited customization allows for only basic patient information to be collected. Therefore, pre-registration can only be partially completed through the portal if procedure-specific information is needed.
Improving Pre-Registration with Electronic Forms
In today's market, forms technology exists that acts as an add-on to your EHR, providing the forms features needed for patients to easily complete intake forms electronically before they arrive for treatment.
By providing patients with more convenient ways to complete admissions forms, you will see an increase in patient engagement and a greater percentage of patients who pre-register for treatment.
The RIGHT pre-registration solution will feature an intuitive patient-centered design, mobile optimization, and seamless integration with the EHR and other clinical systems.
Here are some key features to look for when selecting a mobile eForms solution to ensure your healthcare organization implements best-of-breed technology that improves the pre-registration process for both staff and patients.
- Mobile optimized forms
- E-Signature capabilities
- Image capture for insurance information
- Guided Forms View
- EHR integration
- eChecklist functionality
Take the pain out of pre-registration for staff and patients as mobile forms technology reduces admission wait times, decreases labor costs, and allows staff to focus on delivering higher quality care.