Could your dental practice use a little help right now? You’re not alone. Constantly fluctuating COVID-19 restrictions in many states are causing uncertainty among patients. According to an early November ADA survey, the number of practices reporting lower-than-usual patient volume has steadily increased since August.
Whether the decline in volume will continue remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: Your practice must actively work to attract new patients and ease their fears of visiting a dentist during a pandemic. Paperless patient registration can help.
Eliminating the paper from patient registration has many benefits for both you and your patients—both now and long after the pandemic ends.
Benefit 1: Enhanced patient safety and a better patient experience
Touching a potentially germ-laden clipboard or pen to fill out paper forms can make new patients nervous. With the value of one new dental patient as high as $36,000 annually, you don’t want to give new patients any reason to leave your practice.
Lighthouse 360’s Patient FastTrack feature helps keep patients safe and worry-free. Simply have new patients complete and sign registration and intake information forms right on their smartphones. They can use Patient FastTrack wherever they are—at home or in their cars while waiting for their appointment. Patients can review and approve their data; making corrections is simple to do. No need to sit in a waiting room or exchange paper forms with your front desk staff.
According to research conducted by Lighthouse 360 among its customer base, it takes patients an average of 15 minutes to fill out paper forms on a clipboard. In contrast, the average time to complete paperless registration with Patient FastTrack is 90 seconds.
Benefit 2: Greater accuracy
Deciphering patients’ handwriting can be a challenge for your front desk staff. Misinterpretations, typos and distractions while inputting data can all lead to errors in your records, creating miscommunications in your practice. This can have serious ramifications including delayed payments, not being able to contact patients or improperly coding Insurance forms. In the worst-case scenario, a patient’s health can be put at risk if important medical data is missing or incorrect.
Lighthouse 360’s Patient FastTrack can even writeback information directly into select PMS applications. When patients complete their own paperless registration forms, you eliminate the risk of human error during the inputting stage.
Benefit 3: Better security
Many practices have concerns about the security of paper forms containing private information such as patients’ birthdates, contact information and health issues. Sensitive data may be vulnerable when file folders are left unattended. For patients who have concerns about cyber security and data privacy, digital records can be a selling point for your practice.
Whether you use paper-based records or digital records, making sure that your chosen solution complies with HIPAA regulations—as Patient FastTrack does—will help to keep your patient data secure.
Benefit 4: Improved efficiency
Paper-based registration forms involve many time-consuming steps: gathering the paper documents, making copies, inputting the data and then checking the records for errors—not to mention purging paper files and shredding outdated documents from time to time. And what if you want to make a change in your intake and registration forms? You have to find new form templates or manually update the design of your forms and print out new copies.
Paperless registration eliminates all of those steps. Lighthouse 360’s Patient FastTrack feature has paperless forms that are easy to tailor to your practice’s needs. We’ve recently added new features based on customer feedback, including customizable questions, editable patient agreements and streamlined registration forms, so you can choose the patient information that matters most to your practice. With less time spent on paper-based drudgery, your front desk staff has more time to spend interacting with patients, updating your social media presence and keeping the office running smoothly. (Get more tips for helping your front desk staff prioritize.)
Safety, security, accuracy and efficiency—all of this adds up to greater patient satisfaction. Isn’t that what your practice is all about?