Patient Intake 101: Everything You Need To Improve Your Process
Patient Intake 101: Everything You Need To Improve Your
What does your patient intake process look like at your healthcare facility? What do your questionnaires
consist of? Who’s involved in the process? How long does it take for the patient to fill out? Do you need to
improve your intake process to make it more efficient and effective? If you want answers to these questions
and solutions on how to improve your patient intake, then you’re at the right place. Here are all the answers
you need on Patient Intake 101, so read on!
What is a patient intake form?
A patient intake form, also known as a health history or patient questionnaire, is used by medical professionals
during an office visit. The main purpose of it is to ensure a correct diagnosis and treatment for whatever
ailment your patient is currently facing. Think of it as a mini-physical that will help the doctor treat the patient’s
In order to perform an effective patient intake, it's important that all questions are relevant and easy to
understand. One wrong word in your question could lead to incorrect answers from patients, and inaccurate
information makes treating patients difficult.
How do you perform patient intake?
Apart from asking a relevant question, it's also important to ask easy-to-understand questions. If a patient isn't
able to understand your questions, they will just tell you whatever answer comes to mind. If you don't know
how to structure your questions in a way that leads you to useful answers, using medical intake templates is an
excellent way of achieving that.
Regardless of whether you're creating your own template or using one from somewhere on the internet, make
sure it is filled with relevant and easy-to-understand questions that can help lead you towards making an
accurate diagnosis. Your medical intake form may take a couple of revisions to perfect. Make sure you are
collaborating with your coworkers to improve the forms as needed.
Even when you are using a medical intake form template, it's best to cater the questions to the needs of your
practice. If you use a ready-made template without personalizing it and adding your own questions to it, you'll
lose track of which question leads to which answer. You can also cross-reference the template you’re using
with other templates to help brainstorm ideas for questions that will help lead you towards an accurate
When should medical intake be performed?
The medical intake process can begin as soon as the patient schedules an appointment. You can send them a
digital form to fill out with basic information. You may send them a patient intake form with specific questions as
well or wait until they are in the office to give them the second one.
Consider the length of time it takes for your patients to fill out the forms. If it takes too long for the patient to fill
out, they might give you shorter or less accurate answers near the end. This can be a reason for breaking your
medical intake process into two pieces; one piece before the patient comes to the appointment and one once
they get to the appointment.
Some medical intake forms can be done without a medical professional, like obtaining the patient’s basic
information. You may want to have a medical professional walk the patient through certain parts of the patient
intake process so that they can ask follow-up questions. If a medical professional asks any questions that
aren’t part of the patient intake form, they should make note of what questions were asked as well as what the
patient’s answer was.
Information collected during patient intake
The medical intake form is an important tool for doctors and other medical professionals. The information
collected during patient intake is crucial for the proper care of patients. Some of which are vital to learning a
patient’s health history and condition to diagnose accurately.
In medical terms, intake means an active gathering of facts from a patient. An intake interview is usually
conducted at a medical clinic or doctor’s office, though some basic patient information can be gathered before
During an intake interview, a medical professional will collect information about the patient’s personal health
history and conditions for further care and medications. While taking a medical patient intake form, the medical
professional may be required to ask questions about patients’ behaviors, thoughts, feelings, and other
important details in their life to better understand why they have certain medical conditions that might cause
them harm or suffering.
The patient intake can be completed via verbal interview, a paper-based form, or computer-based software
before or after the patient arrives for their appointment. No matter what kind of patient intake is conducted,
there are standard questions that are asked. These include questions about health history, current
medications, allergies, and risk factors for other illnesses and diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
Apart from this basic information, a medical professional must ask for more detail about a patient’s symptoms
or how they feel in a medical setting where it may be difficult to accurately gauge their feelings using words
alone. You may ask the patient to provide information about their mental health even if they are there for a
physical problem to get a better idea of how the patient is feeling overall. The more information a medical
professional has about the patient, the better they can make a correct diagnosis.
How technology can help during medical intake
The patient intake process is at times quite daunting to both medical professionals and patients. A consistent
complaint on any medical visit is having too much paperwork to complete. An automated medical intake
software allows doctors to streamline paperwork and collect data more efficiently. It can also allow for easier
collaboration if the patient is seeing multiple doctors.
More time can be spent with patients when information is shared digitally since medical professionals can
review the information more quickly on a computer or tablet instead of having to wait for physical copies to
arrive. Automated applications can also allow for a quicker assessment of new and returning patients, ensuring
that each person has been asked all relevant questions as accurately as possible during their visit. The more
efficiently a practice runs during patient intake, the fewer things you will have to worry about when working with
patients in your practice.
In addition to improving your process for collecting patient information, you can also opt for a secure online
patient portal. This allows patients to keep their own health records up to date by uploading test results,
scheduling appointments, and more. If you are a practice owner, you gain access to these data as well and
have them at your fingertips during your next visit.
Using an online portal allows patients to have ready access to their files from any location with an internet
connection and gives them peace of mind knowing that they don't need to make special requests for
information or request that it be faxed in order for them to receive it. Through an automated solution, new
patients can easily schedule appointments on your website and see reminders when they are due or upcoming
through pre-populated calendar invites in advance of visits.
There are many aspects to a medical intake process, but by having a well thought outpatient intake form,
asking the patient additional questions once they are working with their medical professional, and introducing
technology to help organize the patient information, you can increase the efficiency in your medical facility.