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Physical Therapy Documentation: Patient Check-In With “Self-Intake” Technology
Discover how patients’ self-intake can be very beneficial to the practice, to the physical therapy documentation staff, and even to the patient itself.
The self-intake option for physical therapy documentation software takes paper and re-entry out of the equation completely.
With self-intake software, you can add a new patient to your practice’s medical records system the instant they step into the office.
What is Self-Intake?
Self-intake in the physical therapy documentation setting is the process of using a tablet computer to conduct the intake interview. Rather than handing a patient a clipboard, you can hand them an iPad.
For patients who don’t want to tap through, there are even speech-to-text options that allow patients to say their entries right to the device. This can speed up the process for patients and speeds up the review process each time they come in for an appointment.
Self-intake physical therapy documentation technology can also be used anywhere the patient happens to be. If a patient has in-home appointments, the physical therapist can bring along a tablet computer and securely add patient information to their electronic medical record without safety concerns.
Self-intake physical therapy documentation technology should meet meaningful use guidelines for Medicare and should also match the requirements for safety of electronic medical records.
Who Benefits from Implementation of Self-Intake?
Some of the best things about a self-intake physical therapy documentation system are similar to the benefits of any technological advance. The staff benefits because the information only has to be entered into the EMR once, saving time and dropping redundant steps from staff workflows.
Additionally, because the information is so centralized, it is easy for the physical therapy documentation staff to review the information in an electronic medical record and ask relevant questions of the patient. And of course, there is a lot less paperwork, reducing the amount of printing, shuffling, and filing that has to happen each time a new patient is added to the practice.
But the other parties who benefit from self-intake are the patients. They spend less time repeating information and filling out forms. When they come back for their second visit, they can simply review the information they entered last time to see if anything should be added or changed.
The medical billing and physical therapy documentation staff also benefits, as the information for a patient’s insurance company is added directly to the system they will use to determine the patient’s portion of the bill.
In fact, some practices go so far as to automate their patient payment information so that the patient can pay up front for their visits.
A well-designed self-intake physical therapy documentation system will allow for paperless patient check-in as well as have customizable forms for the practice to design. Some systems even offer to include a photo, which can be taken right from the tablet, so that when a clinician reviews the patient file they will see a photo of the patient, too.
This helps physical therapy documentation clinicians to keep track of who is who, and it helps patients to have a more welcoming and comfortable experience every time they visit your practice.