How to make the most of booking and patient forms
Do you want to maximise the information collected from your booking and patient forms? There are simple ways to gain more vital patient information and improve the visibility of your allied health business operations.
By creating a more efficient and modern process around collecting and storing patient information, you’ll have more time to deliver health services and focus on other business tasks.
Your CRM is your central information hub
Populating your CRM with valuable client data is the name of the game when it comes to managing an allied health business.
Within your CRM lives patient contact details, treatment notes, charts, patient forms, images, and a variety of other pertinent information.
Being able to market through email and SMS, set up booking reminders, acquaint yourself with patient concerns and generally have a wide view of a patient’s profile is crucial to delivering a quality experience as an allied health professional.
The two starting points for this CRM data are:
1) Your booking forms – the initial form used when a patient books your allied health service.
2) Your patient forms – the secondary form used when a patient presents themselves for treatment after they’ve booked.
Maximising your booking forms
Your booking forms are the starting point for gathering patient information for a variety of further purposes.
As soon as a client clicks your ‘book now’ button, they’ll be taken to a booking form with fields of your choosing.
Getting this right is extremely important for clinic and client management. When building your booking forms there are a few considerations.
1) It can be too much
If you’ve got a potential client to the point of booking your services, there’s such a thing as asking too much.
Don’t assume you have landed a client just yet. There’s a common phenomenon called ‘checkout cold feet’ that pops up in eCommerce checkouts and online booking forms.
Have you ever got to the point of ordering or booking something online, only to be frustrated by the amount of information required (or time taken) and then simply left? Maybe you rethought your needs or perhaps you went and sought an easier alternative? We all have.
While gaining vital data is important, so is landing the booking. So, don’t go overboard and ask the world of your hesitant, but potential patient.
2) It can be too little
You also need a solid set of starting data in your booking form. For contact and marketing services, you’ll at least need an email and phone number. Patient name and requested services are also obviously important. Don’t slim down your booking form so much that you have little useable data in your CRM.
3) Optimise for digital marketing
Make sure your booking links (which will involve a booking form) is fit for purpose when it comes to linking to social media posts, ads, or other marketing endeavours.
Ensure your booking process links seamlessly from your digital marketing efforts and you don’t just drop people on your home page where a booking link lives. Always direct people immediately to the booking link itself.
When doing this, make sure your form is well branded and looks professional. You don’t want to create a jarring experience that erodes trust.
Maximising your patient forms
Once you’ve landed a patient booking, you can follow up at the point of treatment with your patient form. There are a few things to consider when creating and delivering your client a patient form.
1) Lose the paper form
Many clinics still make use of paper forms. They’re usually distributed at the front desk when a patient presents themselves for initial consultations or treatment.
That time is over.
Why? Paper forms present a few key issues:
- prone to error and loss
- handwriting illegibility
- need to be scanned in
- manually uploaded to patient CRM database
- environmentally unsound
2) Go digital
To alleviate the issues with paper, you should be creating online digital patient forms.
By using a digital form, you have a more professional and secure process. You can store sensitive information securely and create a much simpler workflow around centralising and storing patient data in your CRM.
Are you providing home visitation allied health services? Having an iPad or similar with a mobile digital patient form is an excellent tool to have on the road.
Using a solution like Better Clinics, you can also SMS or email a variety of patients forms (of your own design) at any stage of consultation directly to your patient. These can also be automated to reduce admin time.
3) Think about segmentation
When you have a well populated CRM, you also have the data you need to segment and run reports on your patients and services.
Do you want to discover the percentage of patients you have with certain needs? You need to be able to segment your database based on the fields, which comes from the information you requested in your patient forms.
Think ahead and be sure you have fields in your patient form that lend themselves to CRM segmentation. You’ll reap the dividends later when it comes to marketing, sales and coming to a better understanding of your own business.
Pro tip: Remember that with patient forms, you already have the patient in your clinic so don’t be shy about asking a lot more information than you would in your booking form. If it’s going to be useful later, ask away.