Why Are Intake Forms Important?

At the beginning of the diagnostic evaluation process, parents will often complete intake forms that share background information about their child.

Intake forms are important in the treatment process for a variety of reasons. They provide a secure way to collect patient information, provide an easy way to manage client information, ensure client safety, help clinicians become acquainted with a client, and allow clients (and parents) to become more involved in the treatment process. 

A secure way to collect background information

Intake forms allow clinicians a secure way to collect patient information. Securing client information in a HIPAA-compliant file keeps their information safe and private. HIPAA requires the protection and confidential handling of protected health information so this means a client’s information is protected by law. 

An easy way to manage client information

Intake forms are an easy way to manage client information. They can reduce a client’s wait time since insurance and billing information is easily accessible. Clinicians can send out forms prior to appointments so clients can avoid filling them out in the waiting room. Intake forms also help clinicians reduce errors throughout the treatment process by providing an easily accessible file of information that can be referenced at any time.

Ensure client safety

Intake forms ensure client safety by providing clinician’s with information pertinent to a client prior to treatment. These forms allow clinicians to obtain accurate and up-to-date information about a client since the client has to fill in their own information before treatment can begin. This information includes a client’s medical history, which is an essential part of formulating an effective treatment plan. A client’s medical history educates clinicians on diagnoses, past illnesses, and medications that will guide them to make decisions that are safe for their client’s current health status. 

Becoming acquainted with a client

Intake forms are a great way to understand and become acquainted with a client before treatment. They allow practitioners to have a way to be familiar with a client outside of their formal medical history. A client’s family history can provide a clinician with a great deal of information that a formal medical history cannot. Understanding a client’s lifestyle including their current living situation, occupations, daily routine, hobbies, and diet allows clinicians to create a picture of their client’s general health status.

Another important part of becoming acquainted with a client is becoming familiar with triggers, stressors, and any potentially traumatic events. While this is private information that may not seem relevant to share, this information can help guide clinicians to make better decisions while working with a client.

Involves the client (and parents) in the treatment process

Intake forms help clients to become involved in the treatment process. Prior to initial evaluations, clients clarify what services they are seeking.These indications will help a clinician determine if they are the right professional to help the client or if they need to be referred to different services. Intake forms also improve the patient experience. They allow clients (and parents or caregivers) to prioritize their health concerns and share what goals they have for treatment so they can work with their clinician to create a treatment plan specific to their desires. 

In the case of pediatric diagnostic evaluations, the intake forms are typically completed by a parent or primary caregiver.

Do you have questions about diagnostic evaluations? Contact the Goldman Center to speak with one of our specialists who can answer your questions! You can reach us at (773) 998-8500.