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No Contact, No Problem:

How to Simplify Patient Intake During Covid-19

by Christopher S. Garner

September 04, 2020


While many providers are adopting telemedicine as a way to continue care without contact, some care situations still require in-person treatment. Limiting physical contact between individuals in such situations is still as important as ever. For patients, visiting the hospital now elicits worry of transmission, and the thought of having to exchange registration forms, ID cards, and credit cards to accomplish routine intake procedures – all things which previously weren’t even blinked at – now fosters feelings of discomfort and unease.

We made a short video outlining a patient intake solution that simplifies zero-contact check-in and registration. Borrowing from that video, in this post we’ll cover three key components to building an intake process that helps eliminate contact between admissions staff and incoming patients.

Implement Pre-registration

For a typical visit, patients are usually required to arrive early at the facility to fill out all necessary paperwork. Once they arrive, they visit the admissions clerk to obtain registration booklets and any other important forms, then fill out those forms and return them to the admissions desk. Identification cards are exchanged, signatures are obtained, and all of this is accomplished in the hospital’s waiting room, where other patients are present, doing the same.

Done digitally via mobile device or home computer, registration can become effortless and worry-free, allowing both patients and staff to breathe a sigh of relief. In the end, implementing a contactless patient pre-registration solution gives patients the opportunity to complete the entire pre-registration process prior to arrival.

Facilitate Digital Check-ins

Equipped with a mobile pre-registration platform, healthcare organizations are already on track to protect staff and deliver better patient experiences. Next is empowering patients with the ability to check-in digitally. Upon arriving at your facility, how will patients avoid long lines, prolonged wait times, and contact with admissions staff? One solution is to utilize innovative, low maintenance intake technology, such as a a tablet-based patient intake kiosk.

Patient intake kiosks enable quick digital check-in upon arrival and allow patients to check-in without needing to approach registration staff or other patients. Integrated with a mobile pre-registration solution and a digital registration management tool (which we’ll cover in the next section), patient intake kiosks can give patients a digital, zero-contact check-in experience that saves them time and worry.

When your patients can check-in by scanning a barcode or QR code from their mobile device, that’s simple.

Enable Digital Registration Management

Implementing pre-registration and digital check-in is only half of the answer for a comprehensive contactless patient intake solution. Unless admissions staff has the ability to manage the intake process remotely, patient documentation and check-in will still require prolonged face-to-face interaction. Providers avoid this pitfall by empowering their staff with a centralized check-in and registration management tool.

With a digital check-in and registration management tool, staff can review data submitted by patients during pre-registration, manage arrivals, edit patient information, and ultimately approve new patient information before it is sent to their facility’s EHR. Certain intake management tools also have automatic notifications that can flag certain patient responses, such as recent travel, onset COVID-19 symptoms, or any other relevant medical conditions, allowing nurses to be informed of patient conditions before the patients even enter their facility.

To put it simply, any intake process that enables staff to manage all this without patient interaction enables simplicity – both for your patients and in your operations.

Conclusion

While telemedicine enables care from a distance, contactless patient intake helps support socially distanced in-person visits. Providers seeking to build a zero-contact intake process can find comprehensive resolution with the right solutions. Implementing pre-registration, digital check-in, and a digital registration management tool offers healthcare enterprises an innovative, yet solid path forward.

Continually rising to meet the challenges of COVID-19 is a taxing endeavor. But, creating a simplified intake process with no contact? That’s no problem.

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