Why is a Medical History form useful in the Dental Office

mConsent

October 17, 2022

mConsent

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Do your patients shrug when they’re handed a medical history form to fill out? Completed medical history forms are critical for every dental office to obtain prior to the patient’s exam, but why? Let’s discuss the reasons, and what your dental practice can do to make the process easier for patients and staff.

Importance of a Medical History Form

There are numerous reasons why having a completed medical history form for each patient is crucial. For example, if a patient has vertigo that’s severely triggered by lying back in the exam chair, it’s important to know that before reclining them.

Additionally, patients with contraindications to certain medications must be known, so that they’re prescribed accordingly. A medical history form gives the dentist information about these kinds of problems along with the following:

  • Health conditions (current and previous)
  • Surgeries
  • Medications
  • Allergies
  • Social history
  • Family health history

Without knowledge of the above areas, dentists would be in the dark, and could possibly treat or prescribe in a way that would be detrimental to the patient. Understanding the patient's health status can also help in determining connections with symptoms the patient may be having, to narrow down the possibilities for a diagnosis.

Relatable Scenario

Let’s go over a real-life example of how critical it is to obtain a completed medical history form for each patient. As we all know, poorly managed diabetes can seriously compromise a patient’s immune system, possibly leaving them susceptible when inflicted with an infection.

A patient of this type of health background, with a mild tooth infection would need to be approached with more immediate attention and aggressiveness than a completely healthy individual.

Each patient must be treated according to their individual medical status, health conditions, and needs. Obtaining a completed medical history form enables dental practices to carry this out more easily.

Patient Comprehension

Transparency with patients is vital when it comes to how their medical history, and health status affects oral health, dental conditions, and treatment decisions. The only way to gather this relevant information from patients is via a medical history form.

The sad reality is that a vast majority of patients are not fully aware of the interconnection between medical health and oral health. This is where the dental team plays a huge role in taking time to educate, explain, and advise. Online searches have become more of the norm for patients nowadays than seeking advice from an actual provider.

This route of online information seeking can be misleading and harm patients; whereas direct communication with the dentist covering all pertinent information will keep patients better informed.

Making Medical History Forms Fast and Easy

Making Medical History Forms Fast and Easy

The big question of how do you make it easy and painless for patients to get the medical history form completed accurately and fast? Thousands of dental practices have turned to paperless solutions that allow patients to complete the medical history form, along with all other intake forms, remotely from any location. This process has proven to be the easiest route for patients, as they can use any device, and fill out the form at their own convenience.

Once completed and E-signed, forms are transferred to the dental office digitally, and integrated into your practice management software (Open Dental, Eaglesoft, Dentrix, Dolphin). An alternative method that also beats paper medical history forms, is an in-office iPad App that also provides patients with fast, simplified form completion.

These effective and time-saving software tools have won over millions of patients and thousands of dental practices across the US, saving hours of documentation time, improving speed of transmission, and providing more secure storage of data.

Conclusion

Medical history forms are a crucial part of every dental practice for numerous reasons, as discussed in this blog. To make the process of obtaining a medical history form easier on patients and faster for your team, paperless solutions go a long way.

Over five-thousand practices have already made the transformation to mConsent’s digital forms boosting their efficiency, productivity, and patient satisfaction. Learn how your dental practice can benefit by embracing mConsent.

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