Online Forms: The Unsung Hero of Your Practice Management Software

Lisa's kidsI have had the fortunate experience in my life to have a wide range of ages between my children – 12 years between my oldest and youngest daughters. And while most people would comment on how great it was to have a built in babysitter (not a chance, too busy with her own activities), it did provide for endless amounts of interesting adventures juggling diapers and dance competitions, teething and formal dress shopping, and among other things, Pull-ups and orthodontic appointments. I took almost 10 years off from Ortho2 to be at home with the two youngest kids, and a lot has changed in our company while I was out.

Since my return, I have been exposed to a lot of new technology and advances in our product from the last decade, and it is all pretty amazing. However, I am convinced from my previous experience as a frazzled stay-at-home mom, Online Forms are the unsung hero of your practice management software. Seriously, where was this magical concept when I was sitting in the orthodontic office filling out lengthy forms trying to find my insurance card, remember my dentist's phone number, my daughter’s last dental appointment, and oh yeah, remind my two-year-old that Thomas the Tank Engine is not allowed to "swim" in Dr. Smith's fish tank?

Wondering what an Online Form is? Then you are missing out on a seriously powerful, stress-busting tool for the families in your practice. (Not to mention your Appointment Coordinator who is suspiciously keeping an eye on my over active two-year-old.) This feature is already built into both Edge and Viewpoint. Offices who are using this technology already know you can e-mail your parents a link to your office’s Health History form, and Mom or Dad can fill it out at home, on their own time, undistracted, and possibly even during nap time. Awesome.

But here is the really excellent news for your appointment coordinator, in addition to reducing the amount of time a toddler is left unsupervised by a distracted parent filling out endless paperwork, the information is automatically imported back into your system. Wonderful! This is an amazing time saver and eliminates the need to retype all that information into your system while trying to decipher someone else's handwriting. And the best part? You already own this feature, and you don't need to have a website to use it. Standard forms (like the Health History Form) are already available for your use in both Edge and ViewPoint.

I would love to see more offices harness the power of this simple time saving tool. Receiving a call from a potential new patient requires you to only ask a few simple questions to schedule an appointment. Then, simply e-mail the link to the Health History Form for the responsible party to fill out before coming in for the appointment. This information will be waiting for you to upload into the patient record. All the information will be merged into the patient record, in seconds. You can even send a reminder e-mail the night before the appointment if this hasn't been done yet, resending the form link. Mom still forgot to do it? No problem. She can use the On-Deck sign in station in your office, or you can give her a tablet with Internet access on it to do it in the office. Disclaimer: This approach still requires someone keep an eye on the fish tank. 

Give us a call to help you get this set up and running today. It will save you time, and the wow factor to your responsible parties will be priceless. 

About the Author

Orthoii   Lisa Schuelka 2012 5Lisa worked as the Systems Consultant for the MSO/MASO territory from 1997 to 2003. After her second child was born in 2003 she made the decision to be at home full time with her growing family. Now, with all three kids in school, including one in college, she is excited to step back in as the Systems Consultant for California, Washington, and Hawaii. Lisa enjoys hanging out with her kids, frequently forgets all of her passwords, and hates filling out forms. 

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