Modernize and stay connected

Some studies estimate that at least 40% of your patients seek "alternative" healthcare or self-medicate with "natural" dietary supplements. Make sure your new patient form asks about medications, other physicians (specifically other practitioners), and over-the-counter products. Of course, today's patients are more connected than ever. Be sure to include spaces on your new patient form for cell phone, fax, and pager numbers, as well as an e-mail address. Some practices take an identification photo of patients at registration time to help physicians and staff associate faces with names. Consider using a digital camera or a scanner to include the photo in computerized charts, too.

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