Many people come to alternative and holistic health practitioners, as a last resort and with some reservations. The popular press love to search out examples of malpractice and scare monger, after all fear is what sells newspapers. They are often in pain and unsure if you can help, a stressed or nervous patient is not an easy one.
So, if you are going to be able to really assist the people who need your help, they must be put at ease as soon as they walk in the door.
Of course, the reception is as comfortable and relaxing as possible, receptionists are trained to be efficient while putting people at ease, but there are the formalities to get done, and this can be an opportunity to give reassurance and confidence to your patients.
An initial holistic health intake form, consultation form and medical history need to be taken followed by a consent form and for people coming for the first consultation this can be stressful. Clipboards and forms have never put people at ease.
That is why iPEGS paperless forms are such an amazing tool for alternative medicine practitioners, everyone is so used to digital devices nowadays, and the forms can be filled in either at the clinic or from home online using a mobile phone, tablet or computer and submitted directly to the cloud. They are quick and easy and as they are digital, they can be made easier to read for patients with poor eyesight, by simply zooming in or increasing the text size.
As well as electronic signatures, you can add photos and you can add your own branding and logos. You can create the forms from scratch with the easy to use form builder, or if you are too busy or a bit of a technophobe then you can get one of the iPEGS technicians to do it for you.
By giving patients the option to fill in their medical history from home you will often find the resulting information to be far more complete. After all, how many of us can remember what we were doing last Thursday let alone what medication we were on five years ago.
Many patients have had years of ill health, being pumped full of chemicals. We all know how hard it can be to distinguish the ailment from the side effects of medication, so a full history needs to be done. By giving patients time, you have the opportunity to get a fuller account of their health problems a few days before their appointment, and are therefore able to study them in advance, saving crucial time in the actual consultation, even having the time for conferring with colleagues at the earliest stage.
Of course, your patient is of primary importance, but they are not the only person in the room, consent forms are a must and in an increasingly litigious world, protect not only the patient but also the practitioner. Making sure that your patient knows what treatment they are receiving is just good practice, having their agreement to the treatment on file might at some time be vital.
Up until recently a paper based holistic health consent form, had to do, and has since the stethoscope was invented, however, 5 years after the event how easy will it be to find? If you need copies or originals will it be legible, let’s face it, medical practitioners are not known for their calligraphy.
Now again you may well have the most efficient system in the world, but unless filing is your idea of relaxation, it’s a huge pain. Paper files are costly in space and time, not to mention resources, both natural and financial. Being able to pull up a patient’s records instantly saves time and allows you to spend more face time with your patient. It’s not just about covering your back but also about preventing having to.
So how do I get a form completed and signed by my patient:
Using a tablet, iPad or Smartphone you can access your electronic forms through the iPEGS apps, even without a Wi-Fi connection or via iPEGS Web Forms on any device. Simply open the form that you wish to be completed and once signed save or submit it. This is perfect in a face to face situation, free from the barrier, that a clipboard can create.
You can also send the medical history and/or consent form to the patient or guardian prior to their appointment using iPEGS Remote, again via email as a web form or via the free app. They would receive this form on their smartphone, or any device connected to the internet and complete, sign and submit back to you.
Is my patient’s information safe, what about data protection laws and GDPR?
Many laws states that patient records must be kept secure and confidential at all times. The UK data protection regime is set out in the DPA 2018 which replaces the Data Protection Act 1998, and came into effect on 25 May 2018, along with the GDPR (which also forms part of UK law). The law applies to any ‘processing of personal data’, and will catch most businesses and organisations, whatever their size and the law provides stronger protection for more sensitive information such as health related data.
All data submitted via iPEGS is encrypted, transmitted and stored securely. iPEGS is Cyber Essentials and IASME GDPR Governance Standard Certified so you can be confident your data is secure.
You can sign up for your free iPEGS Remote account and get 5 free form credits or sign up to the 30 day free trial of iPEGS Direct via the website.
Or if you would like to discuss the various options why not book in a call here or feel free to drop me an email: steve @ ipegs.co.uk
If you practise alternative medicine or holistic health therapies then why not go paperless today, reduce your carbon footprint, become more efficient and have more time to focus on your patients.