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Modernizing Patient Intake: How Electronic Check-In Transforms the Healthcare Experience

June 11, 2024
OA Editorial Team
June 11, 2024
Patient intake on mobile device

The traditional patient intake process involved a cumbersome series of steps. These steps both frustrated patients and bogged down the workload of medical front office staff. Manual patient intake went like this: 

  1. A potential new patient calls your practice during office hours to make an appointment.
  2. On the day of the appointment, the patient must arrive early to complete intake paperwork. 
  3. Your office staff collects the completed paperwork and a copy of the patient’s ID and insurance cards.
  4. Office staff must complete data entry, verify insurance, and file forms and other paperwork. 
  5. The patient finally gets to see their provider. They may be frustrated by paperwork and unsatisfied with their experience before you can even say hello.

This entire process was inefficient and frustrating. Patients and office staff often felt like they were drowning in paperwork. Paper forms made it difficult to secure sensitive patient information. Also, all that paperwork took up a lot of space in medical offices. Modernization was long overdue.

The Role of Technology in Patient Intake and Patient Check-in

Today’s modern technology has streamlined the patient intake process for many offices. A modern, technology-driven patient intake process often looks more like this:

  1. A patient can book an appointment online without calling during office hours.
  2. Using the latest tech like Intake Pro, they can complete all of their “paperwork” digitally. This can be handled from the comfort of their home and on their own time.
  3. The software handles all the data entry work. It integrates information from the patient into your practice management software.
  4. When the patient arrives at your office, everything is ready for their appointment. The administrative tasks are done and insurance is verified.

This improved process makes life easier for your office staff and improves patient satisfaction. It’s more secure and allows you to safeguard sensitive patient information efficiently. It also frees up a lot of space in your office since you no longer have to maintain and store paper patient files.

Benefits of Electronic Check-In vs. Traditional Check-In

Beyond the obvious, there are several advantages to e-check-in, but there are also a few drawbacks. Let’s explore the positives first.

Electronic Check-In Benefits

  • A faster and more efficient check-in process improves customer satisfaction. It also allows your office to get all the relevant information prior to the patient’s appointment.
  • Office staff no longer has to spend time on tedious data entry. Instead, the software automatically imports all the patient’s data into your EHR system.
  • No more time spent filing paperwork, and no time wasted looking for misfiled documents. Instead, all data is kept digitally. This allows you to access any patient document with a few taps or keystrokes.
  • Without all that paperwork floating around your office, it’s far easier to safeguard patient privacy. Sensitive information is kept behind logins and passwords, where unauthorized eyes won’t see it. 
  • Traditional check-in and data entry could frequently introduce errors into a patient’s data. This is far less likely when a patient is entering their own information directly into your system.
  • In times of high contagion (think flu season or the recent pandemic), providers appreciate remote check in. The ability to check in patients remotely means less time spent in germy waiting rooms. Providers can even request patients wait in their vehicles until they have an exam room ready. 

Of course, no system is perfect, and electronic check-in has its downsides. It won’t work in the instance of a power outage (unless you have backup power). And some less tech-savvy patients may need help dealing with the change. This can be particularly challenging for doctors who see a lot of elderly patients. It can also impede those in low-income areas where patients may not have internet access. It may also require an investment in computers and tablets for your office. Plus, you'll need to provide the requisite training for your staff.


If you’re not already using electronic patient intake, perhaps it’s time to rethink this decision. You’re undoubtedly missing out on the benefits of this technology. With it, your practice will enjoy greater efficiency, better data accuracy, and improved patient satisfaction. Perhaps it’s time to try Intake Pro. You'll gain access to a fully customizable patient intake and check-in software package. Even better, it easily integrates with all of our medical office software. 


What is patient intake in healthcare?

Patient intake is the process of gathering information about a new patient. This data must then be integrated into your practice management system. This can be done manually through paper forms or automatically through digital intake software. 

What are the benefits of electronic patient check-in?

There are a few primary benefits of electronic patient intake.

  1. It speeds up the process. 
  2. It allows patients to complete paperwork digitally from home. 
  3. It takes away most of the data entry burden from your staff. 
  4. It can also improve patient satisfaction and reduce data entry errors. 

How can technology improve patient intake?

In addition to the benefits listed above, technology frees up space in your office that would otherwise contain patient files. It makes patient privacy simpler, safeguarding patient data behind HIPAA-compliant electronic security.

How do electronic check-ins work?

In electronic check-in, patients typically use self-service kiosks, mobile apps, or online portals. They can provide personal information, update medical history, and confirm appointments. This automation reduces paperwork, minimizes wait times, and enhances data accuracy. Ultimately, it improves the overall efficiency of the check-in process. 

What is an EHR patient portal, and how does it help in patient intake?

An EHR patient portal allows patients to view their personal healthcare data online. It’s the system that stores and delivers patient info. This includes all the digital paperwork a new patient must complete during intake. 

How does modern technology transform the healthcare experience?

Modern technology revolutionizes healthcare by enhancing accessibility, communication, and personalized care. From digital health records to telemedicine and wearable devices, technology streamlines processes, improves diagnostics, and empowers patients. Ultimately technology transforms the healthcare experience for better outcomes and greater patient engagement

OA Editorial Team


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