How can I use an iPad to streamline patient intake?

Uploading and scanning documents to a patient file can be very time consuming. Learn how you can eliminate scanning and uploading all together.

In Touch EMR uses a dedicated iPad app, and with a simple click of a button, can upload photos, scripts, and other documents directly to the patient record during the patient intake process.

This eliminates the need for front desk staff to photocopy, scan, and upload documents.

What should I expect from my front desk staff?

Your front desk is important since they are the first point of contact with the patients.

Patients can form a first impression of your practice based on their interaction with the front desk staff.

There are three things the front desk should be doing:

1) Scheduling the patient

2) Patient intake and creation of patient records

3) Helping with marketing by following up with patients in a variety of ways

These three things can be done automatically in In Touch Biller Pro and In Touch EMR. This allows your front desk staff more time to work efficiently, and provide better customer service.

The front desk can take advantage of its integrated marketing features to send text reminders, mail greeting cards and communicate regularly using the integrated, emailed, Therapy Newsletter.

How can we streamline eligibility verification with online tools?

Eligibility verification is done differently in different practices. It can be done online or manually.

A majority of payers can provide insurance information online and in real time. This feature is also available in the billing component of In Touch EMR.

In many cases (but not all, since this feature is dependent on the payer), this will save the front desk a phone call to the insurance companies to verify insurance eligibility. Please keep in mind that manual verification might still be needed if the payer does not provide online eligibility verification.

How can we streamline patient intake?

The Patient intake process for In Touch Biller pro is extremely streamlined and time-efficient.

As soon as client calls for scheduling, the patient’s eligibility can be verified in real time.

The result of the verification can be used to create a patient record eliminating the need to manually enter patient data and minimizes errors on patient information.

The patient can now be scheduled by the front desk.

Before the patient comes in; eligibility, chart creation and scheduling are completed.

Once the patient comes in, he or she can complete the patient intake using an iPad with the use of a dedicated iPad app built in with In Touch EMR. The patient can take a picture of himself or herself, as well as pictures of documents needed and upload them directly to their patient record, eliminating the need to scan documents to the patient record manually.

The patient can also sign the HIPAA agreement on the iPad.

How can we automate patient follow up and increase referrals?

The patient records contain the following information that can be used to communicate with the patient even after their discharge:

1) Mailing address – allows the clinician to send out greeting or post cards

2) Email address – allows the clinician to send them emails and newsletters

3) Mobile number – allows the clinician to send them text messages

4) Home phone number – allows the clinician to send them voice messages

Once the front desk acquires a written permission from the patient to communicate with them, these four modes of information can be used to automate patient follow up.

In Touch EMR can do all these using the following mechanisms:

1) Send a greeting card

2) Send newsletters via email

3) Send text messages, appointment reminders

4) Send voice messages

How can we keep track of physician certifications and insurance authorizations?

In Touch EMR allows you to keep track of your physician certifications.

The physician certification with identifiers and duration information is tracked and the system will prompt you when a patient is nearing the end of that certification.

In Touch EMR also keeps track of authorizations from insurance companies including authorization numbers, and expiry dates.

It is important to keep track of certifications and authorizations to make sure that your patients are certified and authorized, as is required.

Not all patients will need certifications or authorizations.

What is the Ideal Practice Workflow for the Front Office?

1) In an ideal front office workflow, the staff should be able to check eligibility of the patient as soon as the patient calls or walks in. This can be done either manually or online.

2) Front desk should be able to take the result of the online verification and capture it to create a patient record automatically. This eliminates the need for the front desk to enter the demographics of a patient manually to a patient record.

It also minimizes denials as the patient record is accurate and based on information from insurance companies.

3) The patient can now be scheduled and the patient record will appear automatically in the EMR.

The job of the front desk staff is streamlined to a great extent.

How can we make the process of patient intake easier and more efficient?

Patient intake can be time consuming depending on how it is done in your practice. It can also affect billing if incorrect information is entered during patient intake.

Using In Touch EMR, this process can be simplified by using only the insurance ID number. The insurance ID number can pull up the demographic information of the patient straight from the insurance companies with the patient’s written permission.

Once the patient information is captured, this can be used to automatically create a patient record. This saves time and eliminates mistakes in entering data manually.

This feature in In Touch EMR will help your practice simplify and automate patient intake.

What are the common myths about online eligibility verification?

Online eligibility can mean different things for different practices. In most practices, front desk staff goes online to check individual insurance companies online.

With In Touch EMR, you can check eligibility right in the billing software. The result comes in very quickly and you can even take the result and use it to create a patient record.

In Touch EMR effectively saves time and minimizes denials as it eliminates mistakes in entering patient information to patient records.

All insurance companies/payers might not have the sophistication to support online eligibility verification.

What is the Ideal Practice Workflow for the Billing Staff?

The biller needs to be able to enter the claim information in the billing software. This can be done manually or automatically.

In Touch Biller Pro has a user hold section where the claims come through from In Touch EMR; the claim is then scrubbed by the system and the biller can review and edit the claim as needed to ensure first pass claim acceptance.

Modifiers, if applicable, can be added at a touch of a button. Depth of diagnosis or diagnosis pointers can be added to the claim to ensure that the claim is accepted.

A common limitation of other EMR software is the inability to transmit information to the billing software. In Touch EMR streamlines this process with seamless integration, which allows the clinician to get paid more, faster.

The billing system should be the backbone of the practice workflow as it gets the clinician paid.

As a practice grows, the workflow needs to be more efficient and streamlined to make sure that revenue is maximized.

What are the benefits of, and mechanism for, automated appointment reminders within an EMR system?

It is important to have a cancellation policy and stick with it.

In Touch EMR sends out text/call reminders within 24 hours of the appointment to remind patients.

It also has an automated call feature which prompts the patient to choose from confirming, cancelling or rescheduling.

It eliminates the manual effort of calling the patients and maximized appointments scheduled.

Front desk can do more high value activities other than calling patients to remind them of appointments.