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How to Use Mental Health Intake Forms
Mental Health Intake Forms

For decades, intake forms have been an integral part of the mental and behavioral health system. It is the process of collecting varying types of data regarding new clients/patients coming to your organization for services. This data includes essential demographic information, client history, family history, previous treatment, and any other data that might play a role in their relationship with their mental health provider. 

The importance of Mental Health Intake: 

Why does the collection of this data matter? Most importantly, this data helps providers offer their clients the best care. In any situation, information is a valuable resource. In the mental health setting, intake data offers providers the resources to create the best treatment plans and deliver the best care to their clients. 

Examples of Mental Health Intake Forms: 

  • Child Intake Form – While children cannot fill out their intake forms, their parent or guardian can. This form is designed to gain a complete medical history, family history, list of concerns, and any other relevant history that might have impacted or is currently impacting their mental and behavioral health. 

  • Credit/Debit Card Payment Consent Form – Providers need to be able to process credit and debit card payments. To do this, clients need to sign a digital payment consent form authorizing your organization to charge their credit, debit, or health account card for the professional services that you rendered in their appointment. 

  • No Harm Contract – It is extremely difficult to navigate self-harm or the potential of self-harm in a mental health setting. Some providers utilize a no-harm contract to establish a written-out support structure with individuals the client can stay in contact with and crisis hotlines that offer them support should they need it.

  • No-Show/Late/Cancellation and Co-Payment Policy – Payment policies are incredibly important for reducing no-shows, late visits, and cancellations while also outlining the payment responsibility for the client. Whatever fees you decide to establish for your organization/practice motivate the client to continue coming in for their visits, give you time to fill gaps in your schedule, and protect your bottom line. 

  • Notice of Privacy Practices – This mental health intake form notifies your clients about the privacy standards of your organization. They can see that their information will be protected, adhering to federal and state requirements, as well as a patient’s access to their data. This lets your clients know their information is safe and protects your practice from liability. 

  • Patient Questionnaire – Patient questionnaires are one of the best methods for collecting an individual’s history from their point of view. This particular questionnaire is designed for clients dealing with a substance use disorder. Its questions center on medication history, current prescriptions, surgeries, medical conditions, family history, and their relationship to substances. These types of mental health intake forms are an excellent way for a provider to gain initial insight into the state of an individual so they can form a good starting point for sessions. 

  • Patient Registration Form – Registration is a critical component of mental health intake. It helps you collect all of the information you will need to contact the client or their emergency contact and bill to their insurance. This mental health intake form collects information like their full name, address, phone number, physician, emergency contact, and more. 

Why You Should Transition Your Mental Health Intake Process to Digital: 

Digital intake is growing in popularity across the field as providers realize its usefulness. Digital intake is an extension of your Electronic Health Record that allows you to collect this data electronically. This significant transition enables providers to increase workflow efficiency by eliminating manual transcription and making important patient information immediately available in their charts. It improves your client’s’ chart accuracy by getting rid of hard-to-read handwriting and transcription errors, allowing providers to make higher-quality, better-informed decisions for their patients. In addition, it is a much more convenient option for clients to fill out before their visit. It takes less time for them to type than it does to write, and it decreases their wait time by allowing them to go straight into their visit when they arrive at your office. The benefits of digital mental health intake forms are endless. 

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