Are you still using paper forms at your physical therapy clinic? Physical therapy intake forms are vital tools for collecting patient information, so a simple, convenient solution is best for getting correct medical data from your patients. With digital forms, acquiring, storing, and transferring patient data is much more efficient, and new patients have a better experience.

In this article, we’ll help you learn how to streamline your physical therapy intake forms with Digital Forms. You can check out Weave’s Digital Forms solution here.

Common Problems With Patient Intake Forms

The information you get from an intake form helps you provide excellent care, so it’s essential to revisit your patient information forms often to add or change questions, reduce redundancies, and make other improvements. 

Having an example of what not to do can help you avoid mistakes, so we’ll list some of the most common issues with patient info forms:

Too Long and Redundant

Putting too many questions on the form can cause patients to get tired of filling out their information, especially if you have a lot of open-ended questions that require long answers. 

Some of the most relevant information to include on your intake form includes:

  • Name, date of birth, and other demographic information
  • Insurance information
  • Past health history, including current medications and previous treatments and surgeries
  • Consent for treatment form
  • Relevant symptoms and conditions

While the above information is crucial to have on the form, you might be able to shorten the questionnaire by getting rid of repeated questions or rephrasing the questions to be more thorough.

Poor Formatting

When your physical therapy intake form has pages and pages to fill out but no clear structure, patients can get overwhelmed and might misunderstand or skip essential questions. Also, if the response fields are too small, they won’t have enough room to write their answers legibly, which can cause problems when you or your staff are reviewing the patient info forms. Even worse, this can lead to data entry problems if you have to input the information from the forms into an electronic patient record.

Also, keep in mind that if you want a printable form, you should use a format that works with printer-size paper.

No Online Option

research survey found that 53% of respondents would most prefer to provide their medical information digitally. Without an option for online patient intake forms, you’re giving your patients no choice but to arrive early for their physical therapy visit to fill out the forms in person. 

Since patients need to finish before their appointment starts, they might rush through the questions. With a digital intake form, patients can take their time reading over the questions and information on the forms, making it more likely they’ll provide accurate information.

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80% of patients choose providers based on convenience factors alone, and 51% of patients say they prefer a paperless experience.

Paper costs can take up 3% of a practice’s annual revenue. But with Digital Forms from Weave, you can cut down on paper costs and reduce your carbon footprint.

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Benefits of Better Physical Therapy Intake Forms

When you take the time to create a physical therapy intake form that patients can easily fill out, you’ll notice significant benefits, such as:

Improves Patient Experience

Some patient intake form questions can be uncomfortable to answer, so allowing patients to fill out the forms at home can make them feel more at ease. Your intake forms are your patients’ first impression of your practice, and it could be damaging to your reputation if patients have a negative experience before they even have their initial evaluation.

In contrast, streamlined, paperless forms can create a positive first impression that new patients carry into their first visits. 

Reduces Wait Times

With paperless forms, your patients can complete all the necessary intake paperwork before arriving for medical care visits. Your practice will receive their patient intake form, medical history form, consent form, and other paperwork hours or days before their appointment. This convenient process makes your office more efficient by reducing the amount of appointment time eaten up by filling out forms and checking in patients. This process improvement can reduce wait times dramatically.

Increases Staff Efficiency

The advantages of digital intake forms benefit your entire team, saving them time so they can focus on providing outstanding customer service and patient care. You and other medical staff can easily access a patient’s file, including their contact form, medical form, insurance card, and other essential information.

Ensures More Accurate Patient Information

The patient data from online intake forms can automatically transfer to your information management software. Your administrative staff won’t have to spend time copying the information over, and you won’t have to worry about accidentally mixing up words or numbers. Digital forms significantly reduce errors in patient information entered into the patient record, improving your quality of care and patient safety. 

Learn more about the benefits of a digital physical therapy intake form through our paperless forms webinar.

Tips To Streamline Patient Intake Forms

If you want your patients to have the smoothest intake process possible and make it easier for you and your staff to access accurate patient data, you need to optimize your physical therapy intake form. Below, we provide a few tips to help you streamline your forms:

Keep It Simple

Your new patient forms should be simple and easy to understand so patients don’t have to spend too much time trying to figure out what you’re asking. By using concise questions, organized sections, and neat formatting, you make it easier on the patient and yourself. Having a well-designed and straightforward patient intake form allows you to get clearer patient info.

Incorporate Patient Feedback

If a patient complains, whether it’s about their hard-to-read pelvic health intake form or a concern with their recovery or treatment plan, it’s important to listen and act on their feedback. Try asking your patients to fill out a short survey on the intake process — and any other areas of concern — to gather suggestions for improvement. 

Prioritize Essential Info

A lot of data goes on a patient intake form, so it’s helpful to prioritize the most relevant information to make it easily identifiable. If your practice includes multiple disciplines, like sports medicine or therapy for orthopedic conditions and chronic pain, it might be best to have separate forms for each category so you can eliminate unnecessary questions.

Use Online Forms

Using digital intake forms makes everything easier for you and your patients. Once a new patient makes an appointment, whether it’s for aquatic therapy or a telehealth physical therapy session, they’ll automatically receive an email with the correct new patient intake form to fill out. You can also set up reminders to ensure that the patient remembers to finish the paperwork before their appointment.

Weave’s Digital Forms

Weave is a comprehensive business solution to help medical clinics operate efficiently and provide an exceptional patient experience. Our time-saving communication tools include digital forms you can easily implement in your physical therapy clinic, allowing your patients to receive intake forms before they come to your office. 

The forms dashboard allows you to create a variety of forms with a simple, drag-and-drop tool, meaning that users don’t have to be tech-savvy to use the software. Each field you add is customizable, allowing you to create patient intake forms, consent forms, application forms, and more. You can also leverage one of our many templates forms in the template gallery.

If you like your current forms, Weave gives you the option to upload them to the app. We’ll digitize your existing forms so you can still offer the convenience of filling them out online. Switching to digital also means you’ll be spending less on paper and physical storage.

Read more about our user-friendly digital forms. 

Modernize Your Physical Therapy Practice With Digital Forms

With digital patient intake forms, you can create custom forms that save your staff valuable time, reduce errors in patient files, and save you from buying paper. Most importantly, digital forms delight your patients and reduce the amount of time they have to wait to see their physical therapist.

Ready to go paperless? Download the Weave demo today.