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5 Mistakes to Avoid for More Efficient Medical Forms

by Tracy Flanagan on October 15, 2019

Are there efficiency issues hiding in your forms?

Whether it’s a hard-to-read font or a confusing layout, un-optimized requisition forms can be a surprisingly big time- and cost-sink for labs. The requisition creates an important link between the sample, the patient, and the testing facility. Each time a field is missed, illegible, or incorrectly transferred, the sample processing slows or grinds to a halt. The sample may even be rendered unusable — wasting valuable time and lab resources.

Taking the time to evaluate your forms’ usability will pay off in greater accuracy, efficiency, and cost savings.Get Control of your Mission Critical Documents Work with the Leaders of Lab Media

Why your medical forms may need a redesign

Simple upgrades to your lab forms can streamline your testing processes. Lab requisitions support many aspects of lab work including record tracking and transfer, protocol management, and inter-lab communication so an eye for usability is vital for smooth lab operations. A properly designed form can:

  • Save time on data entry
  • Save costs on retests due to data errors
  • Help labs use 1- and 2-D bar code technology, and other validation requirements to better meet standards (like College of American Pathologist CAP) set forth by governing agencies
  • Improve communication between labs

5 mistakes that could be affecting your efficiency

Here are some common ways forms could be negatively effecting the operations of your lab.

  1. The forms ask unnecessary questions

Always evaluate why and how the information you request from your users is being used. There are many fields on off-the-shelf forms that may not apply to your lab. Save time for both your users and employees with customized forms that only collect the information that you really need.

  1. The fields aren’t ordered logically

The flow from one set of fields to the next should match the fields in the data collection software systems. This makes it easier for data entry employees to validate information contained on the forms. Grouping related fields together also helps users make sense of the information that they must fill in.

  1. The input fields aren’t sized appropriately

The size of a field should reflect how much text the user is expected to enter. Everyone knows the frustration of trying to scrunch an email address into a field that’s far too short. You don’t want users trying to do this with vital medical information. Size the entry fields appropriately to help ensure you gather complete and legible data. If you are using OCR/ICR data capture technology, then incorporating different design elements can greatly enhance data capture.

  1. The forms ask for sensitive information without explaining why

From sensitive medical history to personally identifiable information (PII), there’s a lot of mandatory information that must be asked on medical forms that could worry users. People are increasingly concerned with privacy and information security. Clearly explain why you’re asking for sensitive information to encourage users to provide complete and accurate information.

  1. The design is unappealing

Don’t forsake good design. Medical forms are largely utilitarian, so most labs don’t consider aesthetics to be an important consideration — but a beautifully designed form can help put users at ease. People are more trusting of appealing, professionally designed forms.

Get optimized forms from a qualified partner

The design and structure of your requisition form can have a significant effect on the efficiency of your lab processes. Qualified print services from GO2 Lab Media can help. With a deep understanding of the laboratory market, GO2 Lab Media can design custom forms that reduce costs, increase efficiency, and reduce errors. Contact GO2 Lab Media for a free evaluation and to discuss your needs.

Topics: Lab Print Services, Qualified Print Services, Lab Labels and Tags