Nourish Family Nutrition is a Maryland-based practice that seeks to help people gain better health and healing through nutrition. When Nourish was started in 2009, founder and registered dietician Diana Sugiuchi did it all on her own: Administration, website management, and of course, providing quality care. After her first employee – now her senior dietician – suggested Nourish try a different paperwork system, Diana decided to take a big step in 2015: Going digital with IntakeQ.
“Going digital” has obvious benefits for any business or healthcare practice, including less paperwork, better communication, and increased accessibility. But as Diana discovered, using electronic forms and a patient portal can mean more than just improved administration. Ultimately, integrating a digital platform into her practice saved cash and freed Diana up to focus on delivering better care and growing her business.
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Electronic Forms: Streamlining the Paperwork Process & Improving Patient/Provider Experience
In the past, Diana’s patients would print out PDF forms from her website, fill them out, and then bring the printed paperwork into their appointment.
This system posed several problems:
- Diana and other nutritionists weren’t prepared with critical information before the appointment.
- Appointment notes had to be created for both patient and provider, generating duplicate work.
- All medical forms had to be scanned and uploaded into Nourish’s system in order to create digital copies. This process was time-consuming and inefficient.
Here’s how IntakeQ helped change the game for Nourish:
Prepares Nutritionists to Provide More Quality Care
If a patient has a rare or unique condition that might call for extra research, Nourish’s nutritionists are given this information in advance on an electronic pre-appointment form. This provides for an improved first appointment experience, as providers are better prepared to research the patient’s condition and give targeted counsel. Plus, clients are saved from repeating information.
Reduces Duplicate Work
Electronic appointment notes mean that both patient and provider have easy, instant access to identical information. In the past, dieticians took notes by hand on multiple forms during the appointment – creating a messy, disorganized system with only one copy of important notes. Today, Nourish dieticians are able to type in information directly onto the electronic notes form, making it fast and easy to record critical information quickly.
Makes Data Storage More Efficient and Accessible
IntakeQ provides cloud storage for electronic forms, saving Nourish from the tedious work of having to scan and upload all forms to a single source and preventing potential disaster in the case of a crashed hard drive.
Cloud storage means that important information is instantly and safely stored, as well as easily accessed – even on the go.
Automated Scheduling & Fast, Easy Billing: Saving on Time and Money
With three office locations and 500+ appointments every month, the amount of administrative work for Nourish Family Nutrition could require a staff of up to five people just to manage the intake and transfer of paperwork, billing, and appointment scheduling.
But Diana relies on a staff of just one remote employee to perform all administrative tasks at Nourish, saving her tens of thousands of dollars every year on paying salaries to extra office staff. Not only does IntakeQ help streamline work for admin staff; it also reduces hours spent on paperwork for dieticians…saving Diana additional cash on paying high hourly rates.
How does she do it?
Automates Scheduling and Reminders
Scheduling and confirming appointments can suck up hours of time for admin. In a busy practice like Nourish, this task might typically be handled by an administrative person who is solely responsible for scheduling.
Using IntakeQ, patients can schedule appointments at Nourish online without having to make a phone call to administrative staff. They also receive confirmation emails detailing what they need to know prior to an appointment (such as not eating or drinking for a certain amount of hours). The whole process is streamlined, automated, and instantaneous for both patient and provider – saving time on needless back-and-forth communication over the telephone.
And, this process saves Nourish from paying an entire salary dedicated to the sole task of scheduling (up to $50k a year!)
Makes Insurance Billing Fast and Easy
In the beginning of Nourish, Diana did all the insurance billing herself, and has only recently transitioned the task to her office manager. Now, Nourish’s office admin is able to use IntakeQ to simply and quickly build claims without the hassle of using a separate program to coordinate with insurance providers.
A Comprehensive, Accessible Platform for Patient and Provider
Using a centralized digital system for paperwork, communication, and patient profiling creates a better experience for both the dieticians at Nourish and their clients. In the past, Nourish relied on other programs (such as GSuite) for much of their admin, but still found processes to be tedious and disorganized. Switching to IntakeQ has been a win-win for all: Dieticians are freed up to focus on their practice, and patients are provided with a better overall experience.
Mobile-accessible electronic forms, patient profiles, and insurance information mean providers can access important patient information at home and on-the-go…making it easy to effectively prepare for appointments and provide a high level of care, even out of the office.
Patients are likewise able to access important information, schedule appointments, and communicate directly with their providers on their phones… making it simple and enjoyable to engage with Nourish and keep up with their nutritional plans and recommendations.
Customizable Forms and Emails
Years after her solo launch, Diana is now overseeing three different locations of Nourish Family Nutrition. IntakeQ allows Diana to create customized forms, emails, and appointment reminders for each location. The result is communication that’s more targeted, welcoming, and customized to each patient. Specific forms for each office – including the office address – also eliminates confusion caused by hosting at three different offices.
Customizable forms and templates on IntakeQ have also given dieticians the ability to create their own unique forms, ideal for providing nutritional plans and recommendations to patients.
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Room for Growth
Ultimately, adopting IntakeQ has helped Diana to grow a practice that has allowed her to provide quality care to patients and allot time, effort, and energy to improving and expanding her business.
Before IntakeQ, Diana spent 12 hours every week on building insurance claims. By streamlining that task, she now has 12 extra hours to devote to business development and training. She’s now using that time to build an online course system involving meal plans, classes, and more (which will use IntakeQ!)
As far as long-term plans go, Diana wants to open up additional locations of Nourish Family Nutrition in the state of Maryland…and, according to her, “IntakeQ is no small part of that.”
Diana’s initial vision for Nourish was to run the business on her own as the sole dietician, administrator, and director. Today, Nourish has become a thriving practice with hundreds of patients, multiple dieticians, and an expansive vision to provide patients quality care and nutritional guidance both in-office and online. By using a single, comprehensive digital platform – IntakeQ – Nourish Family Nutrition has been given room to grow.