Creating Medical Forms: Best Practices

There are many factors to consider when designing medical forms. The form needs to be easily understood by your patients. And the form needs to be easy to follow so people know where to put their responses.  Many times people get confused and fill out their information in the wrong area. No matter how well you design your form there will always be responses that can’t be read automatically. You can encourage the form fillers to write neatly, and keep their responses within the spaces allotted, but there will always be people who don’t read instructions and assume that the form will be read by a human, not by a computer. Below are some best practices you can keep in mind when picking out forms for your medical practices:

  • Medical FormsA common mistake in field design is to provide a free form area for a response. This design is often a simple blank line where people should write. Without any character restraints people will write in cursive, will run their characters together, will write on top of the line, and will write multiple lines in a single line response area. The form needs to have a defined response area for each character, encouraging character separation.
  •  Form paper should be thick enough to prevent the back side content from bleeding through when. Fields on form fronts and backs may also be offset to ensure that any bleed-through content from one side. Preventing this will allow our staff to be able to read the medical forms they receive a lot quicker.
  • If you are having trouble with people filling out your forms correctly or incompletely, them test a few different kinds. Maybe put less questions on a page and add more pages. Make sure your staff goes through the form while they are standing there to make sure no pertinent information is left off.

What other tips would you add to our list for medical forms?

Photo courtesy of flickr

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