Doing Away with Patient Sign In Sheets

There was a time when a patient sign in sheet was enough to let those in medical offices track of who was coming in for an appointment. A simple sheet of paper was kept by the receptionist's desk, and as patients came in, they would sign their names and scribble down the time that they showed up. There were problems, however, with using a patient sign in sheet to keep track of those coming into the office:


Not everyone writes legibly, and, while the office staff might know who was scheduled at the time, they are often left guessing at the name. By the end of the day or week when billing is being done, it could be difficult to recognize the names of the patients.


There is little privacy with a basic paper sign in sheet. When HIPAA compliance came into play, it was no longer appropriate to leave a list of patient names in a place that was accessible by anyone who came into the office. Other patients as well as marketing representatives that came into the office can easily take a picture of the paper.


Having patients write down the arrival time is not always the most accurate and wastes time for a process that should be automated. When a physicians name is selected from a list instead of hand written, it is always typed the same way. This also means reports can be made from the information.

Limited Information

Most paper sign in sheets do not offer a spot to identify the reason for visit. Whether it is a new patient visit, a follow-up appointment or someone simply coming in to get a flu shot. The electronic sign in sheet presents the choices that fit your office and patients just click a button.

When HIPAA was put into place, most physicians did away with patient sign in sheets altogether. However this created an additional burden on the desk staff. If there was a call that came in, and three patients showed up around the same time, there would suddenly be a backup at the desk. Fortunately, there is a solution. With a check in kiosk, patients sign themselves in for their appointments. When your patients check in in this way, they will also be able to indicate which physician, what the reason for visit is and answer basic check in questions. As a result, those who need patient processing will have access to details about the patient, when he or she arrived and the reason for the office visit. Your office needs to see just what a Check In System can do to improve the patient intake process.

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