Engaging patients in digital check-in

In today's fast-paced world, digital check-ins offer a new way to engage patients.

Today’s patients are busier than ever, and convenience is of prime importance to them. To this end, utilizing digital check-in technology is one way to engage patients in your practice, helping to inspire loyalty and increase retainment. It can provide many benefits to a practice, and there are various ways to promote engagement through digital check in.

First, what is digital patient intake or registration?

Patient intake is the process of collecting patient demographics, clinical data, insurance, consent forms, payments, and other pertinent information from patients. This process is critical to the success of a medical practice, as it provides the organization with all the information needed to submit health care claims and receive reimbursement for services rendered. Traditionally, this process has been conducted manually with paper forms and transcription by office staff. Digital patient intake, however, allows this process to be completed more efficiently and conveniently by providing patients with the opportunity to complete the intake process digitally prior to their appointment, with the information being directly integrated into the medical practice’s software applications.

Second, how can practices promote engagement through digital check-in?

Digital check-in satisfies patients’ desire for convenience and efficiency, helping them feel more engaged and invested with their provider. Additionally, digital check-in helps take the pressure off that many patients feel in traditional check-in scenarios. For example, it can be difficult to remember specifics regarding your medical history when you are handed a form to fill out while sitting in the waiting room. While this is frustrating for the patient, it can also potentially impact health outcomes because providers do not get an accurate picture of the patient’s health history. By allowing patients to take more time to engage using digital check-in, medical practices are giving providers the benefit of a more complete health picture as they pursue the patient’s care, leading to improved health outcomes and satisfied patients.

Third, what are the benefits of digital check-in?

There are several benefits of incorporating digital check-in to your practice. First, digital check-in supports healthy accounts receivable cycles. When you receive accurate patient information before a patient’s appointment, you can verify coverage, help patients understand their financial responsibility, and submit clean claims that are unlikely to be returned unpaid. Second, using digital check-in makes it easier to access patient information and eliminates the delay associated with manual data entry. This means that providers can find what they need when they need it, and office staff can use the time they would need to put into data entry for more pressing tasks. Next, digital check-in reduces the risk of exposure to illness for both patients and staff, aiding in infection control. Sharing clip boards and pens, sitting in crowded waiting rooms, increased face time between patients and staff, all these facets of the traditional check-in process increase the opportunity for the spread of illness. With digital check-in, these points of contact are eliminated, keeping your patients and staff safe. Finally, digital check-in increases patient satisfaction. Remember, patients want efficiency and convenience, and digital check-in certainly delivers in these areas. Satisfied patients are loyal patients, meaning that digital check-in aids in patient retention which, of course, provides enhanced financial stability for your practice.

There are solutions that provide virtual waiting room technology, including pre-arrival focused patient scheduling and intake and payment options. For example, Yosi Health integrates with Henry Schein MicroMD practice management & electronic medical record software. If you are considering implementing digital check-in for your practice, it’s wise to first consider what will integrate with your existing technology and provide you with a seamless workflow. Also, consider how the digital intake forms are presented to patients, and if they will need to register for any type of account, or if they can simply fill out their form through a secure link. Remember, you want this solution to be convenient for your patients, so make sure you’re choosing a vendor whose product is easy to use.

In today’s convenience-seeking, consumer-driven healthcare industry, the best thing a practice can do is increase efficiency for their patients. Digital check-in is one effective way to achieve this goal. From engaging patients in their health care and aiding in infection control, to improving your practice’s financial health, digital check-in will make a positive impact on your practice.

Crystal Stanton is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Henry Schein MicroMD. Henry Schein MicroMD provides on-premise or cloud-based practice management, electronic medical records, or standalone e-prescribing solutions that help health care professionals streamline workflows and manage practices. The MicroMD family of medical software solutions has grown to serve over 14,000 physicians in primary care as well as all major medical and surgical specialties. Visit the Henry Schein SolutionsHub to learn more.