HotDoc Forms offers secure digital forms that easily allows patients to fill out relevant details prior to their appointment. Using HotDoc Forms can:
- Reduce the amount of time a patient spends in the waiting room
- Ensure information required by a practitioner is filled out in advance of the appointment
- Save administration time by automatically writing back parts of the form to the patient file
- Minimise the likelihood of clerical errors by providing the practice with an online version of the form that automatically saves to the patient file
This guide covers the essentials of setting up a new form. If you are doing this for the first time, you will be required to complete all sections below.
Once set up, you will be able to allow patients to complete their form digitally before they arrive at the practice and HotDoc will automatically enter some of the patient's information into their file.
In this article
1. How do Forms work?
The Forms feature allows you to digitise your paper forms and can automatically send a link to your patients to fill in the form in advance of their appointment time.
HotDoc's Forms solution works by automatically sending a link to a patient when they make a booking at your practice for a specific appointment type or if they are a new patient. We have developed this to save both you and your patients time, but also because our research showed that patients prefer to fill in forms ahead of time.
Example of a HotDoc New Patient Registration Form
The link contains access to a digital form in which the patient will enter their details.
For New Patient form types, the way we determine who is a new patient is based on the following:
- If the patient has selected that they are a 'New Patient' when booking via HotDoc
- If an appointment is entered manually into the book as an appointment type with the phrase "new patient" or "new appointment". For example, a patient booked in as appointment type "New Patient Assessment" would receive the new patient form.
- If the patient file was created within a 3 hour window of their first booking being made
For other form types, the way we determine who should be sent a link to fill in the form is based on linked appointment type settings.
- For example, you might decide to create a Skin Check form and link it to the Skin Check appointment type. If an appointment is saved into the book as the Skin Check type, we will send a form link to the patient.
Once we determine that the patient needs to fill in a form, we will send an email, push notification or SMS with the link to the form.
Example of the form link for a booking made via HotDoc
The patient can fill the form in on their mobile, tablet or computer and submit the form prior to their appointment time.
Once submitted, HotDoc will automatically write some details of the form back to your clinical software where possible. HotDoc will also save a PDF version of the form to your clinical software. We then send the submission to your HotDoc Sidebar to review any fields that could not write back.
Once you've reviewed it and clicked Mark as Complete, the form goes into your 'completed' list. You will still be able to view the form in the sidebar for 30 days from submission and it will automatically clear after that time.
2. The Patient journey
Before setting up your HotDoc Form, we recommend that you first review the journey from a patient point of view. See How can a patient access their form? for more information on the patient journey.
We understand that using an online system to forms can be a different experience for your practice and patients. By reviewing the patient journey, you and your team will be able to know what to expect and confidently preempt any concerns or questions.
HotDoc Forms has been developed to securely send a link to the patient who's made the booking.
3. Create your Form
The HotDoc Dashboard provides a setup wizard that allows you to create and customise your form.
See How to create a Form to be guided through the process.
There are multiple different forms you can set up from existing templates such as:
- New Patient Registration forms
- The Demographic form - a shorter form that captures only main demographic information
- The Clinical form - a longer and more detailed form for capturing clinical history.
- Assessment forms
- Consent forms
You can even create and completely customise a form to suit your needs, using our form builder.
Once you have selected your preferred form type, you are still able to customise and remove questions.
We recommend ensuring your form is not too long to ensure the patient finishes their submission. In some cases, practices will capture the demographic information via HotDoc online and ask the patient to fill out the clinical information when they arrive for their appointment.
To create your form, navigate to your HotDoc Dashboard > Forms > Forms > Create your digital form, then follow the instructions linked above.
After your form is created, we recommend clicking the Preview button so you can go through the form as if you were a patient. This allows you to double check the options you've chosen and any spelling or grammar that may need to be adjusted.
Please see How can I preview my form?
4. How to process your form submissions
As patients submit their forms, you will be required to process them within the HotDoc Sidebar. Some details will be automatically processed, while others will need your team to copy and paste manually into the patient record.
Now that you have created your form, it's important that your team is familiar with how to process the forms into your clinical software as they are submitted. This will ensure the patient's form is completed and their file is updated before they arrive at the practice.
- Firstly, we recommend checking the HotDoc Sidebar every morning for submissions by clicking the Menu > Forms like below:
Once in the Forms section, you will see a list of outstanding form submissions that you will need to process. To learn how to manage your submissions, please see How to process form submissions.
5. How to generate a PDF version
|As the patient submits their form, we can automatically write back a PDF version of the form to your clinical software. See Downloading PDF form submissions to learn how this works.|
To save your team further time and resources, HotDoc will automatically save a PDF version of the patient's form. This feature is dependant on the version of your clinical software.
You also have the option to manually download a PDF version of the form to save elsewhere by selecting the Download PDF button in the HotDoc Dashboard:
Example of the manual Download PDF button
6. Educate and train your team
Once your form is set up, we recommend that you take your team through the form to ensure they are ready to go live.
- Please ensure they are familiar with these guides:
- Notify your team of when you go live with the form so they can start processing forms through the HotDoc Sidebar
- Where relevant, advise patients who book over the phone to expect an email, push notification or SMS with a link to fill in a form
- If you need to make edits to your form, see How to edit a Form
7. Switch your Form to Live Mode
Congratulations! You have now completed the setup of your Form. All that's left to do is to switch it to Live mode so we can start sending the link to your patients!
Once your form is set up and you have trained your staff, you should be ready to make the form live in the HotDoc Dashboard. The form link will then be sent to relevant patients to fill in.
- To switch the form to Live, in the HotDoc Dashboard navigate to Forms > Forms. You can then see the state of your form in Preview mode.
- Click the green 'Make live' button on the right-hand side:
- You will then be prompted to confirm you are ready to switch on the form, click Yes, make live and the status will change to live.
- From here, keep an eye on your Sidebar for form submissions!
Go ahead and check out our Forms Support section for further resources and to search for frequently asked questions.