Patient Issues
Accelerate Your Patient Visit Workflow with Online Workflow Forms
Oct 23, 2017 - 2:09:15 PM

( - Visiting the doctor—whether for a routine check-up or an unexpected illness or injury—is often an anxiety-ridden endeavor. Patients typically have to take time away from work or family, share personal information, and endure physical exams that can seem a bit invasive.

Healthcare providers have a responsibility to give patients a positive experience that eases their anxiety. From the moment a patient first enters a healthcare facility, providers should be concerned with removing unnecessary communication and treatment barriers to provide the best possible care.

Paperless automation can jumpstart a positive patient visit experience. Streamlining administrative tasks associated with a patient’s visit to a facility can make a world of difference for patient happiness and staff productivity. The entire patient visit workflow—from check-in to check-out—can be automated with online workflow forms to remove bottlenecks and improve patient flow.

Online forms eliminate cumbersome paper documents to simplify patient visits and allow multiple people to seamlessly participate in one process. One form can travel from patient to receptionist to medical assistant to physician, with participants viewing and completing only those portions that are relevant to them. Then, all data submitted throughout the process gets combined into a single record in the database.

Using an automated online form, your patient visit documentation could look like this:

Step 1: Patient submits online check-in form.

The process starts when a patient arrives for his/her scheduled visit and signs in via a digital check-in form. This may occur via a check-in kiosk in your office or a URL the patient can access from his/her smartphone. The form asks for basic identifying information, appointment time, and scheduled physician.

When a patient submits the check-in form, he/she initiates the patient visit documentation process and kicks the clinical workflow into motion.

Step 2: Receptionist verifies patient information.

After a patient submits a check-in form, the administrative staff at the facility receives an email notification letting them know it’s their turn to participate in the process. A link in the email will open the form, displaying the patient’s submitted information and highlighting the section of the form that now needs to be completed.

The receptionist acknowledges receipt of the patient’s check-in information and verifies the patient’s appointment time and identifying information against his/her established record, then submits the necessary acknowledgement and verification.

Step 3: Medical assistant completes preliminary check-up.

Next, the medical assistant or nurse is notified via email that the form is ready for him/her. The medical assistant takes the patient’s vitals, updates the patient’s medical history, and conducts any other initial steps as necessary. The assistant then submits the updated form.

Step 4: Physician completes patient exam.

Just as before, the next process participant is notified via email that it’s his/her turn to complete a step in the workflow. In this step, the form travels to the physician who will be performing the full patient exam. The physician completes the exam and adds clinical notes to the form. The physician submits the exam notes, and the process rolls on.

Step 5: Receptionist discharges patient.

After the patient has been examined and released by the physician, the administrative staff is notified via email that it’s once again their turn to complete a step in the workflow. This time, the staff must indicate that they have collected any money due. They must then schedule any needed follow-up visits.

Once the receptionist has completed these final steps, he/she submits the form and discharges the patient to complete the workflow.

Step 6: Patient receives appointment summary and feedback form.

The final submission automatically triggers a notification email for the patient. The email can be customized to include a summary of the visit, details about scheduled follow-up appointments, and a link to a visit feedback form to gather information on the patient’s experience. The patient visit summary email closes out the clinical workflow—with no additional paperwork or time required of the healthcare facility’s staff. It’s that easy.

For healthcare providers interested in developing more efficient processes while improving the patient experience, there’s no substitute for automated online workflows.

Author bio

Chris Byers is the CEO of Formstack, an Indianapolis-based company offering an online form and data-collection platform. Prior to Formstack, Byers co-founded an international nonprofit that was built via remote relationships among partners in Europe, Africa, and the United States.


© Copyright by