Intake Form Follows Function: Finding Intake Forms That Work For Your Practice
Documentation…just the word makes us all roll our eyes. It can be a tedious, time thief for a busy practitioner. It’s also a necessity.
Of all the things you have to do to run your practice, preparing and maintaining all of the various intake forms and templates you need is one of the most confusing and time-consuming tasks you have. They are a necessary part of the information management of a practice. Documentation drives your practice and without it, you can’t get paid, you can’t document what you’ve done and you can’t demonstrate compliance with record-keeping standards.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “form follows function.” Essentially, the shape something takes should directly relate to its intended purpose. In the case of practice forms, e.g. intake forms or new client history forms, you want them to be constructed in such a way that they collect and reflect the information you need.
Put another way, well-constructed intake forms make your practice life simpler. Poorly-constructed forms make you have to work harder.
So what makes for a well-constructed form?
- Well-constructed intake forms capture the information you need.
- Well-constructed intake forms are client-friendly and easy to understand.
- Well-constructed intake forms meet the regulatory standards under which you practice.
- Well-constructed intake forms are customizable and editable.
Sounds easy enough right? Get on your computer, make a document and you’re done. Not so fast.
You need to think through what the function of each form is and what information you need to gather. You also need to have a bit of skill with form construction or at least some basic word processing skill. Before you say, everyone can do that, think again. There are still lots of folks who are not skilled or just not comfortable doing anything beyond a basic letter on their computer. Still others just don’t have time to design a form from scratch.
So what’s a busy practitioner to do? A few things…
Use A Colleague’s Form
Using a colleague’s form can be a good place to start. The upside is that you have a template to work from. The downside is that their intake form may not be a good fit for your practice needs. Depending on your skill level, reconstructing it might be a bigger task than you’re prepared for.
Purchase A Pre-made Set of Forms
Ready-made intake form bundles can be another way to get the forms you need. The upside is that you are not re-creating the wheel. Like borrowing a colleague’s forms, pre-made forms can give you a starting point. The downside is that these packages can be quite costly. The forms are generally generic and may not fit your practice needs. The forms may not be customizable. They may not be compliant with the regulatory requirements for your practice.
These options can get you closer to where you need to be but each has its limitations. Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a way to get the right forms for what you need from a place that understands what therapists need? Now you can!
Intake Form Builders -Next Level Efficiency
TheraPlatform knows that documentation is critical for your practice’s success. They’ve taken the struggle out of forms development and created a form and template builder that you can use as part of your account.
Form builders take some of the struggle out of creating forms by letting users plug information into templates to create usable forms. TheraPlatform’s form builder has helped mental health providers, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists and other to create forms that meet their individual needs. Simply choose your template, plug in your information, customize your form and viola! you have professional, useful forms that do exactly what you want and need them to do.
Take your telehealth practice to the next level and make your documents work for you. Check out this new tool today!
Curious but not a TheraPlatform subscriber? You can sign up for a free trial and try all the features TheraPlatform offers to telehealth therapists. https://www.theraplatform.com/freetrial