Practice Management Blog

5 Online Forms to Streamline Your Practice (+ Webinar Replay!)

User-Friendly Online Forms with Power Diary

It’s difficult to imagine the number of forms sent out globally via Power Diary everyday, when thousands of practitioners are using them to save time and effort (with the added bonus of automatically keeping their records up to date!).

While the process of understanding forms and setting them up for your practice may seem a bit daunting at first, forms will definitely save you time in the long run. Using forms reduces a lot of manual work, including paperwork, and frees up admin hours- so it’s worth starting as soon as possible.

How do forms help?

By automating tasks in your administrative flow and streamlining your practice.

This article follows a recent Power Talks live webinar hosted by Damien Adler, co-founder of Power Diary and registered psychologist in Australia. We’re going to look at the five most-used (and most useful) forms available in Power Diary and show how, rather than sending out forms individually using a manual system, forms can be built into your workflow and set to send automatically.

Watch the webinar now for step-by-step instructions, or read on to find out what these forms can do for your practice.

1. New Client Intake Forms

New client intake forms are not a new idea. It’s the concept of sending new clients forms to submit their contact information, date of birth, medical history, emergency contacts and more.

How do they help?

  • Online intake forms improve accuracy, as forms completed electronically don’t need to be recaptured by administrative staff
  • Reduced person-to-person contact as the form is completed online, rather than in the practice using a clipboard and paper
  • Faster waiting room flow, and clients don’t need to come in early (or at all!) to complete the paperwork
  • Improved preparation- when the client arrives, you’ve had time to prepare in advance because you already have all the information you need
  • Client consent, the client will sign the form and click finish to submit it
  • Auto-population of information into your client database, with no manual update needed

When do you use them?

New client intake forms can be sent immediately after client books an appointment. This means your admin team only needs to record basic contact details, and the form will capture everything else.

If you use Power Diary’s Client Portal feature, you can configure notification settings to automate this process further. For example, when a new client registers, you can enable follow-up actions, such as sending them a welcome email with an intake form, informed consent form and COVID screening form.

This means that the entire intake process can be automated, from a client registering and booking an appointment to paying for their session and being sent the required forms. From there, the client can complete the forms and submit them, and the data will automatically be captured into their profile. By the time a client walks into the practice for their appointment, you have all the required information available and securely stored in your system.

2. Informed Consent Forms

Informed Consent forms are a requirement for most healthcare professions, and online forms make it easy to reliably and efficiently capture this information. It also stands as a record that you have fully informed the client of the relevant information to do with receiving your services.

In some healthcare disciplines, you may need to go one step further. Recently, some professional associations and bodies have been communicating that not only do we need to obtain informed consent at the beginning of treatment, but we actually need to check in and make sure that consent is still valid and updated on a regular basis. To get it right, follow up with your own professional body for your specific requirements and recommended time frames.

Suffice to say, informed consent is ongoing, not just at the beginning or when something changes. More and more, the requirement is to do it periodically, even if nothing with a client’s treatment or costs has changed.

How do they help?

  • Easily stay up-to-date with professional body guidelines
  • Accessible history as records of all submitted consent forms are saved
  • Clients stay informed and are regularly updated
  • Clients know about your appointments and fees
  • A record that clients have agreed to your services and fees
  • Workflow automation as the form is sent and information is collected as part of onboarding a new client

When do you use them?

Using online forms for informed consent is a fantastic way to get updated informed consent quickly by just resending the form. Each time you resend the form, the system will create a completely new record- a new form in the system (it won’t override the previous one that you had). This means that you can keep a record of the initial informed consent and perhaps any changes that were made when you update the consent form over time.

It’s an opportunity to communicate everything upfront, clearly and systematically. Information you need to include covers services offered, professional fees, additional fees that may be applicable, session duration, appointment frequency, expectations about payments and payment methods, missed or cancelled appointments and the associated costs. You can also include a link to your Privacy Policy.

3. COVID Screening Forms

It’s no surprise that COVID screening forms made our top 5 online forms. What makes this one slightly different is that it’s a high-frequency form that keeps health and safety at the forefront of your clients’ minds, while taking into account the level of risk present in your community at that point in time.

Your questions should include:

  • Are they awaiting test results themselves?
  • Have they been to a known hot spot in the last 14 days?
  • Have they been advised to self-isolate or quarantine by a health or government authority?

How do they help?

You can:

  • Access the information you need ahead of the appointment
  • Save time on screening when the client arrives at your practice
  • Make it easy for clients to quickly click through and answer the list of questions
  • Offer a mobile-friendly and fully responsive experience
  • Access a log of the history of the form so you have an audit trail- you’ll see if there have been any changes as well as when the notification was sent

When do you use them?

The COVID screening forms need to be sent to the client ahead of their appointment, preferably in the morning on the same day, so that the results are as up-to-date as possible.

4. Outcome Measures Forms

Outcome measures are an important way to measure the success of client treatments clinically but, more and more, they’re also becoming a mandatory requirement, particularly when they’re linked to funding.

This presents a bit of a conundrum because outcome measures are an unavoidable fact of life, but they can often be tricky to collect reliably.

And that’s where forms come in. They’re fully configurable, so you can set them up to match the outcome measures you need (and we have some great ones in the Power Diary resource library- included in your account).

How do they help?

They are:

  • Easy for clients to use, they can be filled out via SMS or email
  • Flexible, they can be completed by clients or clinicians if necessary
  • Safe and offer secure storage
  • Able to be completed at any time, it doesn’t have to be done in the session
  • Higher completion rate- pieces of paper tend to get lost and forgotten about

When do you use them?

This will vary from practice to practice, as well as between healthcare disciplines but, in general, they should be sent after a milestone appointment, or as the client completes their treatment schedule.

5. Client Feedback Forms

As practice owners, there tends to be a focus on providing a great clinical service, but it’s easy to lose perspective. Your clinical services are only part of the client experience.

It makes sense- clinicians get busy, and it’s easy to overlook areas of the workflow that might be impacting the client experience. It might be something simple like the appointment booking experience or finding parking, and that’s where regular feedback directly from your clients can dramatically improve levels of satisfaction.

Client feedback forms give you insight into how clients perceive your practice. It’s less important if you’re a solo practitioner, but for bigger teams, you can quickly lose touch. Once you’ve set up a template, Power Diary makes it simple to send it out to clients; you simply open a new email, select the template, then hit save and send. Power Diary’s library has a number of Feedback Form templates that you can use, which you can further configure using a range of form field types.

How do they help?

You get:

  • Real insights from clients
  • Feedback to improve workflows within the practice
  • A different perspective
  • Regular ideas for how to improve the client experience
  • Easy to use functionality for clients, so you get better completion ratios and more information
  • Flexible form fields to collect additional comments

When do you use them?

Client feedback forms can be sent to current clients once or twice a year if applicable or if a client is finishing up their treatment to get insights into how they found the whole experience.

What Makes Online Forms so Powerful?

Forms bring automation to various administrative tasks, which improves:

  • Productivity in the practice
  • Uniformity in how you handle clients
  • Professionalism in how clients perceive you
  • Security for clients
  • Data integrity by reducing human error

That’s a lot of perks from a few short forms!

So, how exactly do forms achieve all that?

1. They’re fully configurable

You can insert text fields, multiple-choice questions (with one selection or many), yes/no toggles, images, longer text information, and more. Whether you want to send a follow-up survey to clients, collect specific information or use an Outcome Measures Assessment form, you can quickly and easily create forms to suit your purpose.

2. They’re secure

Forms sent via Power Diary are a secure online way to collect sensitive health information. The encryption technology used ensures that the integrity of the form is preserved. They’re also stored securely and can’t be edited once they have been completed.

3. Auto-populate fields

That’s right, no more duplication of data! For example, with new client intake forms, a number of the form fields auto-populate into the client profile, which means you’re not double entering information. Client information can therefore be updated seamlessly, making it easier to keep records up-to-date and accurate.

4. You can request signatures

You can include a signature field in your form for your client to sign (and you can also require that one of your team sign the form as well.) For online forms such as Terms of Service or Informed Consent, it’s vital to demonstrate that action has been taken by the client. The form log allows you to see whether the client has viewed a form and whether they agreed to it.

5. There are multiple delivery options

It’s simple to send your forms to clients – either via SMS or email. They receive a unique link and can complete the form on their computer, phone or tablet.

6. You can automatically record responses

When a client submits the form, it is automatically saved and added to their client record. All form responses are on file for you to refer to at any time.

7. You get notifications when forms are submitted

Set up notifications so that the client’s primary practitioner is notified when the form is submitted. You can also inform other people within your practice too.

8. You can use templates to streamline your processes further

Get ideas for templates that are already available, make a few minor tweaks so they’re right for your practice, and use them straight away. There are always new templates being added, and if you don’t see one that you need, pop our support team a request, and we’ll see what we can do.

9. Set permissions

Within the system, you can classify a form as administrative or clinical, which means they’ll either be saved in the administrative or the clinical area, and the user permissions needed to access each area are different.

It means you can have administrative team members with lower levels of access send out admin forms and collect that information and have it stored and saved in the account without needing to access the clinical areas of the system. Or you may be collecting forms with symptom rating scales or other forms of clinical information, which you can be classified as a clinical form. It will be stored in the clinical section of the client file, which means administrative staff can’t access that information.

10. Full flexibility

Start with a blank canvas and develop your form from scratch or choose a ready-made template, make a few changes and go from there. And, when you’re setting up your form, there are various types of form fields available, from tick boxes to text boxes, so you can get the data you want in the format you need.

11. BONUS: You can add your own branding

Add your clinic’s logo to your online forms to leave a professional impression on clients. Your practice will seem customer-focused, modern and well-coordinated!

So, that’s it! These are the five forms that we see used the most often (and will have the most significant impact on your practice), whether for improving the client experience, regulatory adherence or your own internal workflows. But they’re definitely not the only forms available, there are thousands of form types that practice owners are using daily, and you can set up whatever forms you need that makes sense (and add value) for your particular set of circumstances.

If you’re ready to get started with online forms, log in to your Power Diary account and head over to the library via Tools → Form Designer → Import From Library and, if you need some help, this support article can help guide the process.

Set up form templates, add automation and enjoy streamlining the workflows in your practice!

For further assistance with online forms, email [email protected], enter into Live Chat from your account or on our website or request a one-on-one live video session with a member of our Customer Team!

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