You are a new patient, sitting in the doctor’s office, filling out paperwork, thinking about what to make for dinner, taking the kids to practice after school, the project due for work tomorrow, oh, and then there’s the fact that you’re sick and nervous about what might be wrong. The nurse calls your name, and your white coat syndrome kicks in. You’ve got so much going on, as they quickly ask you about your medications, you forget to mention you have hypertension and take Lisinopril. Family history? You don’t even remember you have it, much less that your mom and dad both do as well. The nurse hands you a questionnaire with 20 questions on it, leaves, and the doctor walks in 1 minute later – just enough time to answer a quarter of those questions. So much for chart prep.
One of the most inefficient workflows in a medical office can be the intake of new patients. The reconciliation of medications, review of histories, and completion of new patient questionnaires can take the majority of the allotted appointment time, leaving providers with very little time to spend with their patients. This creates provider and staff frustration and delays in the providers’ schedules, resulting in increased patient wait times and dissatisfaction. Every day we’re scrambling to catch up.
Now, let’s think about that situation if we had done Chart Prep prior to a new patient’s face-to-face visit. Having clinical staff engage a patient by a phone call prior to his/her office visit provides several benefits:
- First, it establishes a relationship and gets the patient engaged in his/her own care. Doing the histories, the questionnaires, and the medications prior to the office visit gives the patient more time to actually speak with the provider – the whole reason they’re coming in anyway.
- It also gives the patient a more comfortable setting to go through these things. They’re not pressured by a nurse who is also busy taking their vital signs, or anxiously awaiting a doctor they’ve never seen before.
- For the clinical staff, this means they make the phone calls and collect the data when they have time – on provider administration or hospital days, or during their down time . They get a true history and feeling for what the patient is experiencing, and build that trust before even meeting them.
For organizations who don’t handle complete new patient registration and history gathering via a portal, Galen has developed Chart Prep workflows with clients that can help engage patients and establish trusting relationships, while also making appointment time more meaningful for providers and patients. We created a workflow which utilizes queries to identify appropriate patients and create tasks to initiate patient contact. We evaluated staff workflows to determine if there were current daily clinical staff tasks that could be more efficiently handled by non-clinical staff members, therefore creating more time for the clinical staff to manage patient care. We also developed useful and time saving Chart Prep notes and corresponding New Patient notes to capture the Chart Prep data efficiently.
We all know it has to be done. The data needs to be accurately collected and reviewed. Engage the patient and don’t just collect the data, collect the CORRECT data! For more information, check out our newly designed website and don’t hesitate to contact us below: