How to Improve Practice Efficiency with Online Intake Forms

Callie Norton
May 5, 2023
5 min read

Online Intake Forms Do More Than You Think. Here’s How Your Orthodontic Practice Can Get Ahead.  

For orthodontic practices, one of today’s most notable advances is the use of online intake forms. They’re environmentally friendly, can be completed pre-appointment from anywhere, and make the four o’clock rush a lot easier.    

Still, many practices forgo these benefits, instead relying on old-fashioned paperwork to (slowly) process their patients.  

But these practices are missing out.    

To the point, if you’re not texting or emailing your patients digital paperwork, it's time to face the facts:  

  • 90% of texts are read within three minutes.  
  • 91% of adults have mobile devices within arm’s reach 24/7.  
  • 93% of patients expect providers to use digital tools.  
  • There are 6.6 billion mobile phone users and 4.3 billion unique email accounts globally.  

As such, online intake isn't just beneficial to your practice; it’s a concept that already fits into your patients’ reality. Your adaptation can mean all the difference in your case acceptance rates.  

Your orthodontic practice’s intake is essential to its overall health. Here's how online intake forms can fine-tune your practice's intake and create an efficient work environment.      

You’ll Save Time and Money  

Time and money are the finite resources we all wish were endless. Their scarcity is especially felt in your clinic, given your (seemingly endless) list of responsibilities. But if you currently use traditional paper forms, you’re draining them even faster.  

You know how it goes. First, patients get to your practice early to fill out lengthy documents (sometimes arriving later and rushing through paperwork). Then, team members are left deciphering messy handwriting, manually inputting data, and filing the forms away.  

On the other hand, online intake forms can be filled out online before appointments. This allows patients to take their time and complete the process at their convenience. In turn, your staff can increase efficiency by not having to input and file paperwork.  

Plus, you won’t have to shell out as much money for costly paper and printing supplies. You’ll also save on extra labor needed for managing paper forms, along with the expensive errors from manually entering data.  

You Can Prepare for Appointments Ahead of Time  

Time management and preparedness go hand in hand. With online intake forms, your practice can be steps ahead in the intake process. For one, you can send—and bundle together—forms to be completed ahead of time with one click. This gives you plenty of time to review patient information and decide how to proceed with treatment.  

Additionally, online intake expedites the insurance verification process, which is notoriously frustrating and disruptive to appointments. If patients are able to fill out forms prior to appointments, your staff isn’t left verifying insurance last-minute. This can be especially timesaving, given that benefits can change, and patients’ information isn’t always up to date. By verifying information beforehand, you can be ready to present patients with accurate financials as soon as they arrive.  

And, for your Obs patients, your preparedness matters. Having readily available financial and treatment information can play a pivotal role in their orthodontic journey. By seeing treatment costs as soon as they arrive, they'll know you’re prepared and ready to move forward. This can lead to even higher case acceptance rates.

The entire patient journey in one place

The technology inside your orthodontics practice should work hard for you. Tops’ complete ecosystem gives you the power, speed, and agility to move on to what’s next.

Increase Retention with Better Patients Experiences  

Handing your patients pens and stacks of paper upon arrival is one of the worst ways to greet them.  

They have to stop and dig for their insurance card, frantically Google their primary doctor’s information, and answer complex questions. Meanwhile, the minutes tick away—and before they know it, their appointment is behind schedule. If you want patients to have an enjoyable, seamless experience, this isn’t the way to do it.  

Online intake forms take the hassle out of orthodontic appointments by streamlining the check-in process. Since patients can complete forms from the comfort of their own homes, they can focus on their appointments instead of paperwork.  

Further, you can send digital contracts to patients and collect e-signatures. That way, if a child's parent is unable to attend an appointment, they can still sign a consent form ahead of time. The hassle of a wasted appointment and time spent rescheduling is no longer an issue for patients and their families.  

Plus, overall, making your patients happier can boost your retention rate. This can help cut back on some of your extra marketing and acquisition costs. It can also enhance your staff’s morale since they play a part in more positive experiences each day. And, with happier staff, you'll improve work efficiency.  

Online Intake Is More Secure  

You handle private information every day; you don’t want to risk paying expensive HIPAA fines and losing your clients’ trust. However, maintaining high security standards with paper forms can be difficult. They’re much more vulnerable to theft, loss, and damage—which can be challenging to recover.    

Online intake forms offer a higher level of security compared to their paper counterparts, so they're safer for handling sensitive information. The cloud safeguards sensitive data, along with strict access controls, automatic backups, and encryption protocols. If the system crashes, or a natural disaster occurs, patient information is safe and can be easily retrieved.  

Moreover, with secure, cloud-based storage, your practice eliminates time-draining interruptions. For one, you don’t have to spend time resolving issues with data breaches. It also enables efficient access to patient information. Authorized staff members can retrieve digital files quickly, cutting out time spent searching for patient records.  

Patient Data —> Priceless Information  

Last (but not certainly least), one bonus of online intake forms is the insight they provide. Your intake forms contain priceless information. But if your practice uses paper forms, you’ll likely waste hours attempting to track it.  

With online intake forms—like Gaidge Forms—your practice’s paperwork comes to life. You don't need to comb through files and input data into a spreadsheet to track statistics like completion rates and demographics. It also summarizes your patients’ responses into an analytics dashboard, giving you an insightful overview of their information. In one system, Online Forms reveal critical, actionable metrics.  

Transparent, factual data is your ultimate weapon against practice inefficiencies, fully removing the guesswork that slows your practice down. And, today, practice analytics aren’t just a nice add-on to practice management software. They’re essential to edging out competition.    

Rev Your Practice Up to Top-Speed with Gaidge Online Intake Forms  

Altogether, your orthodontic practice’s patient processing impacts every part of your practice. It’s too important to let it fall behind with paper. Online intake forms save you a significant amount of time and money. They also improve retention rates, help you prepare, and eliminate double work.  

Online Forms, accessed through Gaidge, allow your practice to perform at lightning speed. In the time it takes the ink to dry on your paper forms, you can complete several tasks:  

  • Text and email HIPAA-compliant forms that are completable with e-signatures.  
  • Offer untethered flexibility to patients by allowing them to fill out forms anywhere.  
  • Experience unlimited customization and utilize pre-built templates or DIY your own for insurance, health history, COVID waivers, and more.  
  • View completion rates and patient demographics with an analytics dashboard.  
  • Integrate forms with your website for more patient convenience, less administrative burden, and even faster intake.  

To become the productive and efficient practice you’ve always envisioned, you have to embrace the power of digital patient processing. Gaidge Online Forms place your orthodontic practice’s future right at your fingertips.    



Capalad, P. (2021, October 4). It’s not you, it’s the paperwork — Paperwork Anxiety is Real. Medium.

Cassio. (2022, August 18). 10 Features of Online Forms You’re Missing Out On. IntakeQ .

Norton, C. (2023, April 6). 5 Tips to Improve the Orthodontic Patient Experience. Tops.

Taylor, P. (2023, March 30). Number of Smartphone Users Worldwide 2014-2020. Statista.

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