Oct 5, 2021

Smart Forms: A Better Way to Chart, Track, and Analyze Patient Encounters for Healthcare Practices

Last updated October 5, 2021  |  Published October 5, 2021 by Hannah Orlousky

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The medical climate of the information age demands new personalized healthcare tools to meet changing needs. With increased expectations of transparency, patients expect more access to their health information, payers require more accuracy and accountability, and providers need end-to-end integration to streamline their workflow wherever they are based. Enter Smart Forms to better manage patient encounters.


How Are RXNT’s Smart Form Different from Other Encounter Forms?

Smart forms are reimagined clinical notes to meet digital information needs. The goal of a clinical note is to document details of the patient’s visit along with services rendered by capturing the diagnosis and procedure codes, which serve as the basis for patient treatment and accurate invoicing/billing. However, there are some workflow and accuracy issues in traditional clinical notes that are solved through smart forms

Jessica Wagner, COO at RXNT, explains that “smart forms have the ability to capture critical data elements for clinical reporting, create a customized, intuitive experience for the provider, and ensure accuracy from patient intake to billing, ultimately creating a shorter revenue cycle. These combined capabilities allow smart forms to improve overall operational efficiency, provide more accuracy, and improve patient outcomes.”

The Journey of a Practice Using Smart Forms vs. Traditional Encounter Forms

Here’s how the digital journey of a medical practice and their patient using a smart form (Practice A) might look compared to that of a traditional clinical  note (Practice B). 

Intake 

Practice A uses a smart form. Their patient’s annual examination has arrived. The patient signs on to the patient portal, where they are prompted to complete an electronic intake form that is tied directly to a smart form. On their own time, they are able to thoroughly and securely fill out all information for the provider. Upon arrival at the medical facility or telehealth appointment, their self-reported data has already been transferred to the provider’s portal. 

Practice B uses a traditional clinical note. Their patient’s annual exam has also arrived. They emailed intake forms to the patient to print and fill out at home while also giving the patient the option to fill out the intake form upon their arrival. The patient decides that in order to save time and in order to be more thorough, they can print out their intake form. Despite some printing frustrations, they print out the form and fill it out. In their hurry to get into the office, they drop their printed form with private health information in their driveway. 

Upon arrival at the office, they have to manually fill out another intake form in a heightened state due to their frustrations. The patient’s information must then be transferred by administrative staff into an electronic chart or attached to a handwritten log. At multiple points, misunderstandings or inaccurate information could be transferred. The extra time also creates delays in the provider’s schedule. 

Provider/Patient Encounter

Practice A’s intake workflow is much smoother. Upon patient arrival, other medical staff (nurses, PA’s, etc.) are also able to verify patient data and record vitals, allergies, medications, etc.) for immediate physician review. Upon examination of the patient, the physician starts the examination log with the touch of a button where he or she is able to easily toggle between the patient intake and the examination log. Pre-populated fields have been customized to the physician’s specialty and state requirements so that all required documentation is gathered during the appointment (procedure codes, diagnosis codes, etc.). In one space, the provider is able to view and edit why the patient came, what was observed, the outcome of the exam, and treatments. When leaving their appointment, the patient is able to immediately access and review physician notes and follow-up orders. 

Practice B’s patient is still waiting to see their physician due to scheduling delays and the time required for information to be transferred. When the patient does see their provider, the provider must make handwritten notes in a rush because he/she is behind for the next appointment. In their rush, they do not thoroughly fill out all required elements and instead make a mental note that they will do so at the end of their day.  

Invoicing/Billing

Practice A’s information lives in one place for easy submission to required parties, and particularly the payer. The chosen data will automatically be sent to the billing department and payer. Without the risk of inaccuracies or misunderstandings and within specialty and state compliance, the required information is sent automatically. This creates a shorter revenue cycle so that bills are paid on time and automatically documented for operational evaluation. 

All pre-populated codes send a claim to the payer after being scrubbed in real-time. This minimizes inaccuracies and mitigates the risk of payment delays or denials. Aggregate data from the entirety of interactions is then compiled by the software for the practice’s reviews and specific, strategic growth plans. That way, your practice doesn’t miss revenue opportunities and patterns are revealed to maximize quality patient care. 

Practice B’s physician must go back and review, or the administrative staff must transcribe and assign procedure and diagnosis codes. Staff must be up to date on changing policies and codes. Paper fee tickets or superbills are then generated and are either faxed or sent to the billing department before the charges can be routed to the payee. This may cause delays. 
There are also multiple opportunities for mistakes in each step of the process and increased time means a lengthened revenue cycle, delayed reimbursement or payments, and the potential for denied claims. At each point of exchange, the risk of medical error (the third leading cause of death in the U.S.) increases, posing risk to your practice.

How Customizable Smart Forms Will Transform Your Practice

Overall, smart forms are more secure, efficient, and streamlined than traditional encounter forms. At every touchpoint, more automated accountability and accuracy mitigate risk, shorten billing cycles, and provide higher overall satisfaction for patients, providers, and administrative staff. 

To manage a more streamlined workflow, RXNT provides a comprehensive library of templates based on specialty or can create a customized template for your practice. Your chosen Smart Forms will be based on your specialty needs and include custom state specifications such as specific worker’s compensation claims for New York and California, or pediatric allergy assessment forms specific to Florida. 

Other specialty forms include PHQ9 forms for Mental and Behavioral Health providers to screen for and diagnose mental disorders and depression, or botox notes that, in addition to procedure details, include an illustration of the face with muscle groups highlighted so that the provider can easily and specifically document where the injections were made.

Our cloud-based templates are agile for remote care, such as telehealth, and can be used to collaborate with colleagues or provide telemedicine services. They’re fully integrated with our electronic health records (EHR) and e-prescribing (ERX) software, putting all of the patient’s information in the same, convenient location. As Wagner explained, “This is truly a patient-centered approach.” Schedule a demo to learn more about how to customize and streamline your workflows, and increase the quality of patient care.

Ready to learn more?

Find out why our award-winning, certified solutions are the right fit for your practice. Since 1999, we have provided integrated, cloud-based Electronic Prescribing (eRx), Electronic Health Records (EHR) with patient portal, and Practice Management (PM) with medical billing and scheduling.

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