Online access that will cut your practice workload

Online Patient Registrations: an interview with Tom Micklewright, Managing Partner at Lake Road Practice and John Pounds Surgery

Why did you feel that you needed to make patient registration an online process?
Fundamentally, we wanted to ease the registration process for both ourselves and our patients. The traditional method of patients having to download and print off the forms, then fill them in and return them to us – usually with questions and sometimes with incomplete information – is very time consuming. We wanted a modern, faster system; and as the Practice covers a location which is a popular student residential area, we wanted it fast; certainly in time for the new intake in August/September.

How successful has it (the online registration process) been? Did it achieve your goals?
Yes. Since the site went live in April, 70 more new patients than usual have registered with the surgery following a period of no growth between January and March.

What are the benefits to your patients?
Convenience and comfort. The online form-filling system makes the whole process far less cumbersome for them. Patients can collate and give us all the information we need from the comfort of their own homes – all online.

Also, once they’ve registered, the system automatically fires off a Welcome Pack to them and lets them know what they need to do next; come into the surgery with proof of ID to finalise the process; phone to book an appointment, for example. If any other particular documentation is required, the system will let them know to bring it in too when they next come in, and we can scan it and store it securely online, alongside all their other data and files.

What are the benefits to you and to your Practice?
For a start, receiving all the data in a typed format makes a huge difference! It’s surprising how much time is saved by not having to decipher handwriting or call people up to ask them what they wrote.
If one compares the traditional registration process to our new online system, the time savings to be made are pretty obvious. The patient spends considerably less time in the surgery, which in turn frees up our receptionists and administrative staff.

One feature of the system which is particularly useful is the mandatory fields attribute. In a nutshell, we can choose which data fields must be completed. It may sound obvious, but it’s surprising how many times we used to be presented with incomplete forms in the past. That meant more time spent chasing up the missing information. With our online process, we can ensure that we get everything we need right from the start.

And what for the future?
Our drive is to have as many forms as possible online. We believe that patients being able to do more for themselves online is the way forward.  We are already working with Silicon Practice working to integrate further patient communication online with our patients via our website. More interactive forms for us – travel and vaccinations, for example.  This should be online and working by mid-July.

If you would like know more about these services or would like a demonstration please contact Jane Oddy or call 01793 710500.