Understanding the Patient Intake Process
The intake process of patients is different from practice to practice, but the main purpose of the process is retrieve new and established patients information during check in at a providers office, a hospital, or clinic. By having an efficient intake process a efficient patient flow can be maintained.
Healthcare just like any other type of service industry is reliant on possessing satisfied clientele. Scheduling practices help to manage the patient flow by establishing certain guidelines regarding how late a patient can arrive, and still be seen without disrupting the patient flow throughout an office, hospital, or clinic. How a patient is treated when they check in and out, the time spent waiting to be taken back to an exam room, the time spent with the provider, and the amount of time spent in the exam room are just as important as the intake process. If the intake process lacks organization then there will be an increase in the amount of time a patient is spent waiting to see a provider this leads to unsatisfied patients, and a reduction in the number of patients a provider treats.
There are practices that a provider can put into place to help ensure that patient flow is maintained. For example instead of waiting until the day a new patient is to come in for an appointment to fill out the required paperwork if possible mail the paperwork to the patient in advance if possible. Another option is to have a way where the patient could electronically retrieve the paperwork either through a website or via e-mail. This will allow the patient antiquate time to go examin the forms and complete them. A study conducted by Onisuru T. Okotie of Northwestern University of Feinberg School of Medicine found "only 50% of patients completed this information prior to the visit" (Okotie, 2008). With only half of the...