You know the patient screening drill and its importance in the entire healthcare system. If anything proved its linchpin status, COVID-19 did.
Ongoing pandemic or not, screening reduces risk factors for you, your staff and your patients. It’s integral to determining ASAP who needs extensive screening tests and who needs routine care.
Obtaining and logging just one patient’s medical history, family medical history and symptoms take serious coordination. Now, think about how many patients you treat! The patient screening process is long, and the smallest incorrect detail throws a wrench in the works.
There’s a clearer and more efficient way to screen patients, and it hinges on cutting-edge technologies. Here are three tips for screening patients right the first time around — and growing your practice with patient-centric care.
With about 1 billion people visiting their doctors yearly, you’ll be glad you explored new avenues.
1. Make Your Patient Screening Form Paperless
Start the patient screening process without clipboards, paperwork and filing cabinets: Go digital from check-in to patient education.
That shift can mean taking one or several routes:
- Installing in-office touchscreen kiosks
- Offering in-office check-in tablets
- Adopting online patient portals and apps
- Sending check-in/screening HIPAA-compliant text messages
- Taking a patient’s information over the phone instead of in person
If your practice can’t yet opt for fully digital initial patient screening, lean on your phones and EHRs/EMRs. Have staff ask for patients’ symptoms and histories when scheduling appointments and simultaneously update their records.
Still, taking phone calls while updating records is time consuming. You deal with overworked staff and long patient wait times. Digital options are always better.
For example, a patient may feel more confident discussing their symptoms privately from their smartphone. Early diagnosis is easier because you get their data accurately and quickly.
Granted, patients who aren’t tech-inclined may need a little guidance — but the benefits you see are enormous.
Paperless patient screening boosts patient satisfaction and the patient experience. It also reduces strain on your staff and mitigates your risk of getting sick (and suffering downtime).
Note. We hope you’re one of roughly 90% of doctors who use EHRs/EMRs. If you don’t, using electronic records is your first priority!
2. Use a Unified Patient Screening System
After you’ve made the screening of patients paperless, integrate all the information you gather.
This can be quite a burden when you leave it to staff, who are already hustling to handle office tasks, triage and more. Human mistakes are bound to happen, especially when dealing with multiple healthcare IT systems.
Additionally, the healthcare industry as a whole is moving toward unified systems — and for good reason! You have a far clearer overview and more options when patient data syncs across providers, devices and platforms:
- Checking patients’ statuses since past visits (to you and other providers)
- Accessing information that other providers have added
- Recording new or worsening symptoms
- Tracking symptoms’ progression
- Reviewing past and present medications and potential interactions
- Assessing behavioral and mental health status
- Updating patient data across the board, not just in EHRs/EMRs
Altogether, a unified patient screening system helps you offer top-quality care while catching any oversights. And unified screening isn’t just efficient for you and your staff. It’s safer for your patients because fewer details fall through the cracks.
Until the U.S. develops universal healthcare for fully unified data, you have to draw connections as best you can.
3. Adopt AI for Patient Screening
Going paperless and unified gets a massive leg up with an AI-powered patient screening form.
The AI framework acts as an around-the-clock, fine-tuned brain that delves into and records details. Via webchat, widgets and more, a smart screening tool asks patients specific-to-them questions. Patient screening is granular, while webchat and AI forms offer readable, easy-to-understand questions through sophisticated natural language processing.
And you get more pertinent information and can provide more tailored care.
Cost-effective AI tools, including digital forms, work throughout all stages of patient screening. From check-in to histories to diagnostics and beyond, they help you ensure information is correct. Any changes reflect in your EMRs/EHRs, digital devices and connected systems.
You see further benefits throughout the healthcare journey with AI-driven patient screening:
- Streamlined workflows
- Real-time, two-way feedback
- Staff efficiency and flexibility
- Seamless patient journey mapping
- Instant insurance checks
- Easy appointment scheduling
- All-in-one patient engagement
- Consistency across practices and healthcare providers
Some AI-based software can even act as a medical scribe and gather data during telehealth visits. You could think of an AI patient screening tool as your virtual assistant who never skips a beat or breaks a sweat.
[Related: The Secret to Increasing Patient Acquisition]
Streamline Your Patient Screening Process With Wendi
Find your paperless, unified AI solution with Wendi for patient screening that moves smartly from start to finish.
Wendi works for your practice yearly for the cost of one full-time employee’s monthly pay. It’s advantageous for you, your practice and your revenue cycle. It’s also fantastic for patients, who can participate easily in their care.
Ultimately, their personal reassurance and your diligence go a long way toward patient retention — and a growing practice.
Featured image via Pexels