If you’re new to private practice, one of the most important forms that you’ll be working with is your client intake form. This form is where you capture your client’s basic information. Today we’re going to quickly cover what goes on this form, tips for for creating one just for your private practice, and how to keep it all HIPAA compliant!
So… What goes on an intake form?
It’s simple: your client’s basic information. This includes their name, gender, occupation, address, and contact information. It is easy enough to forget to ask their address or occupation in a conversation, so having a section dedicated to basic information is an easy must in your client intake form.
After you’ve got basic information out of the way, there are a few other dietetic-related questions you might want to ask. Here’s a few quick examples:
- What is your current weight? What is your desired weight?
- Have you experienced recent weight gain or weight loss?
- What medications do you currently take?
- What medical issues or psychological diagnoses would you like me to be aware of?
- Do you have any food intolerances or allergies?
- What kind of physical activity do you regularly participate in?
(FYI: With Healthie, you don’t need to worry about creating your own intake form. We have our own form that covers all the essentials! It even stores information from the intake form to pre-fill a variety of other forms such as billing and Superbills. Plus, it’s all HIPAA-Compliant!)
The important thing to remember is that no client wants to fill out pages and pages of forms, so try to be mindful when you can. You want to ask enough questions to feel knowledgable about your client, but not too many that the client will feel you’re asking too much or that the forms are too long. Try your best to find that balance. There isn’t a standard amount of questions or an intake form length to strive for. Every practice is different. What you’re looking for in your clients may be different.
Creating Client Intake Forms
There are a few ways to create a form. You can go the old-fashioned route with pen and paper. There is nothing wrong with this option! In some situations, you might not have clients who are comfortable with electronic forms. It is easy enough to make forms with programs like Google docs, Microsoft Word, or Pages that you can print out and give to your client to fill out. We recommend saving all forms made this way as PDFs to best preserve the formatting and layout of your form.
With the old pen and paper route, HIPAA-Compliance means that all forms that contain medical information must be stored in a locked cabinet out of sight from any unauthorized persons.
With electronic forms, you may allow your clients the convenience of filling out all their information from their own homes. It also can help with organization and cuts down on physical storage. If you’re interested in creating electronic forms, you may be interested in using programs like Google Forms or SurveyMonkey. (Note: Both SurveyMonkey and Google Forms are not HIPAA compliant automatically, but you can fill out BAAs with both sites to qualify for HIPAA compliance.) Electronic forms are also easy to create and can allow for fun functions like check-boxes.
Interested in converting to electronic forms? At Healthie, we will convert your forms for you! We digitize your forms and work with you to get the kind of client experience you’re looking for.
Still can’t figure out intake forms? Tell us in our comments below or feel free to send us a message at email@example.com. We’re more than happy to help you out step-by-step to get your practice up and running!