Understanding the Patient Intake Process - Essay

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Understanding the Patient Intake Process
August 28, 2011
Jessica Ellis

Running a medical practice is a tough business. It involves taking a lot of information from customers, or patients, which can take up to 20 minutes for a new patient to completely fill out. This can be a hassle for both the patient and the medical billing specialist. Although, there are ways to make it easier for both the patient and the medical billing specialist and that is to use online registration. However, let us discuss the current process first.

Although, the actual process may vary from practice to practice, the main objective behind the process is to obtain information from new and established patients while he/she is checking in at the practitioner’s office, the hospital, or health clinic. Patient flow can be maintained if the medical practice implements an effective intake process. The intake process is just as important in serving satisfied customers as how he/she are treated during the process, time waiting in the waiting room to be taken back to the exam room, and time spent with the physician. If any of the processes are lacking in organization, there will be unsatisfied customers, or patients, which, in turn, leads to less customers, or patients, that the physician administers treatment to.

The process begins before the patient ever steps foot inside the practitioner’s office. As soon as the patient calls the office to make an appointment the intake process begins because when a patient calls to make an appointment, the individual in charge of scheduling usually gathers the person’s full name, telephone number, address, date of birth, gender, reason for the appointment, the name of the health plan (if the patient has one), and the name of the referring physician (if the patient is referred) (Valerius, Bayes, Newby, & Seggern, Chapter 3-Patient Encounters and Billing Information, 2008). Then the office employee schedules the patient for the...
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