Revolutionizing Healthcare Efficiency: Navigating the Dual Realms of Administrative and Clinical Patient Intake

In healthcare, most refer to “patient intake” as an administrative function. However, there really are two types of patient intake: administrative and clinical. Administrative intake involves scheduling, obtaining basic patient information, reviewing insurance information, and getting consent forms signed.  Clinical intake can be more complicated because it involves trying to obtain patients’ clinical histories and data from anywhere patients may have been treated or tested. 

Practices know there is more behind-the-scenes work involved in treating patients than meets the eye. Administrative staff must ensure that the necessary information, signed forms and financial clearances are in place, and clinical staff must ensure that all necessary clinical information is obtained, formatted, and presented in a way that is useful for treating physicians. 

These tasks usually involve combinations of staff, software, policies and procedures, and equipment, like telephones and faxes.

Many in healthcare have certainly thought about all the steps involved, who is involved, what is involved and how to improve both intake types, but few have taken improvements steps to automate routine tasks, improve the quality of results, give both administrative and clinical staff back much needed time in their days, and reduce operating costs.  

Improvements can seem impossible considering that most practices today use a variety of different software, must work with affiliated and unaffiliated providers, and are challenged to improve the quality of treatment and increase number of new patients seen, but sometimes stepping back to look at the forest yields a better understanding of where to start and what to do.

The good news is that progress has been made in making not only access to clinical information easier but also in automating finding what information is needed.  Specifically, providers need clinical information about the patients they treat, so clinical intake staff must routinely find and assimilate this information to make it available for their providers.  What if the process of finding clinical information could be easier – and even automatic. 

While workflow analysis may not necessarily be exciting, it can provide insight into where to make dramatic improvements in staff productivity and operational costs.


The Dollar(s) Challenge

If you had to pay $1 for each keystroke and click related to administrative patient intake, how much would you pay? 

If you had to pay $5 for each keystroke and click related to clinical patient intake, how much would you pay?

These questions ask that you charge yourself a dollar for every keystroke and click related to patient intake.  The results can be eye-opening.