First impressions matter, and, in healthcare, first impressions are often vital to our patients’ decisions to complete recommended care, refer their friends and family, or write a complementary online review. People make decisions about us and our ability to help them quickly. A decision is often made within the first few minutes of their first visit to the practice. How they are greeted when they first arrive, what the office looks and smells like, and how quickly they get to see the doctor, are among the many factors that shape new patients’ first impressions and their future experience with us.
Creating a welcoming and efficient onboarding process for our new patients will go a long way in ensuring that their first impression is a good one.
What does your new patient onboarding look like now?
Do you ask your patients to print PDF forms on your website and bring them to their appointment? Perhaps, you ask new patients to come in earlier to fill out paperwork? Do you greet your new patients with a clipboard full of cumbersome paper forms? Are you asking your new patients, who are already feeling rushed, stressed, or running late to complete multiple forms, often writing the same information on every page? How often do you find that the information is either incomplete or illegible? And once patients complete the paperwork, do they have to wait for someone in your practice to scan and shred these forms and manually enter the patient information into your practice management software? Talk about a tedious, error-prone process!
YAPI offers your patients a better and less time-consuming alternative by allowing them to complete their registration forms online.
Let’s face it. Nobody enjoys filling out paperwork; your new patients are probably not any different.
Since your patients are already doing a lot of things online, they expect and appreciate the convenience of being able to take care of the of the “paperwork” before they even enter your office. With online forms, they can complete and sign new patient questionnaires on their own time without feeling rushed. And they won’t have to spend the extra time in the waiting room filling out forms.
Allowing patients to complete forms online can also help you streamline your registration process.
Online forms have higher completion rates and fewer errors. Your office will receive the information as soon as it’s submitted so that you can be prepared and seat patients on time. Because YAPI’s online forms are integrated with practice management software, they don’t require manual data entry or scanning. With online forms, your team will save time and have a more complete, legible records. And, best of all, you won’t get behind schedule when your new patient is still filling out registration forms 20 minutes after her appointment time.
Ready to get started with online forms? Here are a few tips to encourage your patients to complete their forms online.
1. When you make an appointment for a new patient, be sure to enter patient’s email address into your practice management software. YAPI will automatically send a welcome email to the new patient with a link to your new patient forms.
2. While you have your prospective new patient on the phone, invite them to complete the forms online. Highlight the benefits of taking care of the “paperwork” in advance and stress that this is how most patients prefer to do it in your practice. You might say: “Mrs. Smith, most of our patients prefer to complete their new patient forms online. Shortly, I will send you an email with some helpful information about our practice and a link to our online registration forms. Please click the link and complete your forms online at your earliest convenience. It will help us start your appointment on Friday without delay.”
3. Be respectful of patients’ time by giving them a realistic expectation of how long it would take them to complete the forms.
Creating an efficient new patient registration process will give you have more time to focus on patient care and create a better patient experience from the start. If you are not yet using online forms in your practice, call us today!
Dr. Gina Dorfman completed her dental training at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry in 2000 and shortly after she started her own practice near Los Angeles. Her passion for creating systems and leveraging technology to streamline practice operations is what eventually led her to co-found YAPI. Today, among practicing dentistry, she is a published author, a motivational speaker, and a frequent contributor to the many articles found on our blog!