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Top 5 Ways to Streamline Patient Intake for Therapists

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Ensuring your intake process is quick and effective is a critical component of your operations. It is the first building block to a successful provider-patient relationship. Without it, providers would lack the data they need to make well-informed decisions regarding those that come to them for care.

For most of history, patient intake was done with a paper and pen. Patients scribble down their personal health information (PHI) and then a provider’s staff is responsible for filing that information away in a cabinet or transcribing it into their EHR. In the digital world we live in today, this sounds almost ancient. But many clinics still operate this way.

The issue with this is that this method is notoriously unreliable. A patient’s handwriting can be challenging to read, they leave information blank, and the transcription process can result in errors. Medications could be listed incorrectly, or a personal history might be left out. These types of issues can impact a provider’s ability to make well-informed decisions regarding their care. Not only this, but this method of collecting PHI is time-consuming. Paper forms increase wait times and take hours for you or your team to transcribe.

Intake is a vital part of patient care and your overall workflow. So how can you collect accurate patient data while increasing intake efficiency?

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Top 5 Ways to Improve Your Intake Process:

  1. Client Portal –The number one best resource for improving your intake process is a comprehensive client portal. A quality client portal streamlines the intake process by providing your clients with a self-service option. Patients can log in, input all of their personal health information and history, and submit it to their provider. That information is then uploaded directly to their chart for you to view before their appointment.
  2. Online Scheduling – Online scheduling is essential for any intake process. It empowers your patients to schedule their appointments on their own and takes the pressure off of you and your staff to manage the schedule. With less administrative burden, your team can focus on tasks that benefit the client.
  3. Follow-Up and Follow Up Again! – One of the most important things you can do to improve your intake process is to follow up with your clients regarding their intake and appointments. This is easy with the right tools. You can automate your reminder process so that your staff doesn’t have to spend their days making calls to patients or sending emails. When you follow up, you lower the risk of your clients forgetting to fill out their important documents before their visit.
  4. Collect Insurance Information Ahead of Time – With a digital intake tool in your client portal, you can collect your patient’s insurance information ahead of their visit. This is great news for providers whose patients forget their cards or have a lapse in coverage. By uploading their insurance information prior to the visit, you can verify their coverage and know that you’re good to go before they even walk in the door.
  5. Credit Card Payments – Who writes checks anymore? The ability to collect credit card payments at the time of intake helps you in multiple ways. First, it enables you to collect on overdue bills and copays at the time of check-in or check-out to make sure your patients account is up to date. Second, it expedites the payment process and allows your patients to pay independently online to improve efficiency across the board.

To perfect your intake process from start to finish, your team needs to implement a quality practice management solution for mental and behavioral health providers. A simple and easy-to-use software can empower your practice to grow, no matter the size. TheraNest has the perfect PM solution that not only streamlines the intake process but does so much more. To learn more about TheraNest and get a 21-day free trial, click here.



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