8 Tips to Create Effective Intake Forms

August 16, 2022

Your first priority will always be security and integrity. Your ultimate goal is to collect complete, accurate data from your patients. Let us look at some strategies that will help you create concise powerful HIPAA compliant forms that your patients will love.

1. Using a form builder that is HIPAA compliant 

Since you are collecting PHI (protected health information) safety and confidentiality is paramount., Using a form builder that is HIPAA-compliant is the easiest and most secure method to collect patient data. All HIPAA compliant form builders will come with a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) that is mandatory.


2. Create multiple forms and combine them in one Packet.

When you are onboarding a patient, you want to get all the information that you need in a timely manner in order to deliver an individualized, well informed diagnosis of their health status. Since it can be overwhelming for the patient to fill in all the information at once, break your intake form into multiple sections which can be saved and completed when the patient finds time. This will ensure you are getting completed forms and delivering a pleasing onboarding experience for your patients.

3. Collect legal electronic signatures

With HIPAA compliant forms, you can offer the convenience of getting your patients to digitally sign from their device so that they have time to go through the information in detail and your staff have all the information they need before they come in for their appointment. This also gives you the ability to collect consent from patients without them needing to come into the office!

4. Make questions required

Making the input fields in your online form mandatory will ensure that you never receive incomplete forms, patients won’t be able to proceed further or hit the submit button until they complete all the fields that you require. Along with making sure that you receive all details of your patient’s medical history at the outset, it also reduces the chance that your patients forget to declare critical information.

5. Concise question types

When designing your forms, you want to receive responses in a structured format and reject input if it isn’t. The more flexibility you allow your patients to be with their answers, the more time you or your staff will spend analyzing and clarifying errors in the backend. For example, when asking for your patient’s date of birth, you can set the format to be date-type, allowing them to click on the calendar icon to select the right date. This restricts their input and ensures that you get accurate data with few errors.

6. Autocomplete forms

Having forms that automatically complete repeated information make the experience much easier for new patients completing long forms. Similarly, for existing patients (that you already have information on), you can pre-populate future form fields for them, saving them time completing subsequent questionnaires. Not only does this improve your patient’s experience,, but also ensures quick turnaround times for form completion.

7. Using conditional logic

Patient forms that use conditional logic allows you to set up dynamic, responsive forms that simplify the patient experience. Rather than having one long form with all fields that may not be relevant to certain patients, you can have relevant questions that will automatically show or hide depending on previous answers. This not only simplifies the process for your patients but also improves the accuracy of the data you receive.


8. Offering the option to upload their Insurance cards and IDs

Offer your patients the convenience of uploading their insurance cards and IDs  while filling out their intake form. This not only saves them the trouble of printing or scanning these documents, but allows you to complete onboarding and insurance verification before they actually come into your office.