Want to make sure your dental office is meeting patients’ expectations when it comes to your intake process? Patient intake forms are the primary element we think of when it comes to intake processes, but other factors also play a role. In this article, we’ll discuss how to make sure your intake process is top-notch.
Why Traditional Intake Processes are Insufficient
The old-fashioned routine of manual processes slows down the flow of operations. This includes appointment-scheduling via phone calls, paper intake forms, scanning, calling insurance payers for eligibility status, and manually entering data into your practice management system. Patients expect more from dental practices nowadays, and particularly want the following:
- Self-serve appointment scheduling online
- Paperless Patient Intake Forms
- Ability to send IDs, insurance info and documents before the visit
- Insurance eligibility status before arriving
- No more waiting room time
How to Scale up the Process
To improve your patients’ experience, it’s important to realize your areas of weakness and enhance them with proven methods. Let’s discuss the areas listed above that patients want enhanced.
(1) Self-serve appointment scheduling online
How many patient phone calls go unanswered at your practice? Or how often do patients get placed on hold? Practices that continue to provide only one route for appointment scheduling - via phone calls, are missing out on opportunities to grow their patient base. /
Self-serve online appointment scheduling has become a popular tool that patients love, and expect from their dental provider. With this convenient self-service option, patients no longer have to play phone tag or be placed on hold. They can book an appointment at any time, from any device, at their own convenience.
The best part is that with online scheduling, your office will no longer miss opportunities for new patient appointments. It’s affordable and easy to incorporate within your website.
(2) Paperless Patient Intake Forms & Capturing IDs
Completing stacks of paper forms at the office, forgetting to bring medication lists, and having to hand over IDs, insurance cards, etc - is annoying for patients. They want the easy route of being able to complete forms and submit documents before the visit. Paperless patient intake forms are a perfect solution to simplifying the process.
Patients enjoy being able to complete forms and capture photos, IDs, insurance cards, and documents while on their sofa at home. They can use any device and electronically sign for easy submission.
A huge plus is the speed of this digital process. Once submitted forms are approved, they integrate directly into your practice management system (e.g. Dentrix, Eaglesoft, Open Dental, and Dolphin). It’s a simplified approach that eliminates waiting room time, and creates happy patients.
(3) Insurance eligibility status before arriving
Insurance woes not only bog down office staff, but also patients. Patients dread dealing with insurance payers due to the long phone calls and frequent misunderstandings. By verifying insurance for patients before they step in the door, you're off to a much smoother start.
Automated insurance verification is a new innovation that has put insurance headaches to rest for thousands of practices and patients. It frequently allows practices to verify a patient’s insurance eligibility status within seconds.
Automated insurance verification has proven to be a reliable and accurate method for preventing claim denials and delays. Patients have been highly impressed with offices using automated insurance verification, as it alleviates their insurance anxiety and provides transparency about coverage, without the long wait.
(4) No more waiting room time
What’s the first thing patients typically complain about when it comes to dental visits? Long waiting room times are a primary concern that almost everyone can relate to.
Becoming a practice that puts an end to long wait times, will garner more new patients and skyrocket your patient base. Implementing the above-discussed features into your practice is a guaranteed way of doing just that.
By allowing patients to digitally complete intake forms and capture all necessary documents before the visit, you’ll be doing away with tasks that create long patient wait times - e.g. printing, finding charts, paperwork, scanning, and manual data entries.
Automating your insurance verification process also reduces waiting room time significantly by allowing a faster and more trustworthy process for obtaining patients’ eligibility reports.
A patient-centered intake process means placing patient convenience and satisfaction at the forefront of how you operate. Patients expect dental practices to offer intake processes that improve the speed of service, provide better accuracy, and empower patients with self-service options.
Find out how mConsent’s digital innovations can help you create a fast and simplified intake process that will boost your patients’ experience.