Online intake forms are a great way to collect and store patient information without any of the hassles of paperwork. With the right HIPAA-compliant tools, they’re quick and easy to put together, allowing you to design infinitely modifiable templates for all of your counseling services.
If you’ve just opened your own private counseling practice or started out in blended care, this article covers everything you need to know about creating and sharing your own online intake forms for counseling.
Before you read on, we recommend testing out Quenza’s online counseling tools for yourself. Our $1, 30-day blended care software trial will give you unlimited access to Quenza’s custom form design tools, so you can design and share counseling intake forms online under your practice brand.
Why Are Intake Forms Important in Counseling?
Proper onboarding is essential to developing an engaging, informed relationship with counseling clients, and the first impression patients will have of your practice.
A vital part of the onboarding process, counseling intake forms collect all the background information you need to deliver effective, successful treatment, such as your client’s name, age, contact information, and mental health history.
When shared online, they can also:
- Store confidential patient information privately and securely
- Keep essential details organized, reducing your administrative burden behind the scenes, and
- Help different providers in your practice access accurate, up-to-date client information conveniently.
For a clearer idea of how they look, let’s consider some examples.
3 Examples of Therapy Intake Forms
A vital part of the onboarding process, counseling intake forms collect all the background information you need to deliver effective, successful treatment for your clients.
According to the American Psychological Association, there are a few essential elements that an intake form for counseling should include, such as:
- Client Details: e.g. name, relevant demographics, and emergency contact details
- Insurance information: so your practice can issue super bills or encounter forms
- Medical and/or mental health history: e.g. past diagnoses, ongoing illnesses, or allergies
- Condition, symptoms, or complaints: describing the reason your client is seeking counseling, and
- Desired outcomes: what your patient hopes to achieve through their therapy.
As long as these relevant sections are covered, your counseling practice can generally personalize or modify its intake forms with relevant fields to suit its requirements.
For example, you may choose to design online intake form templates for different specialties, appointment types, or providers in your practice – all of which is easily achieved with specialized counseling software.
Some additional fields might include:
- Practice contact information
- Cancellation policies
- Payment terms, or
- Client goals, as shown below.
If you’re interested in designing your own online intake forms, most secure telehealth platforms such as Quenza (pictured above) even provide free, customizable templates for you to modify.
Some examples include Quenza’s versatile:
- Coaching Intake Questionnaire – ideal for clarifying goals and expectations prior to a program’s kick-off
- Coaching Client Agreement – to set out the terms and conditions of your professional contract, and
- Self-Contract – a versatile tool to help clients consider and move towards their mental health, fitness, or nutrition goals.
6 Reasons To Use Software For Sending Forms
Going digital with your intake forms comes with more than a few advantages, which is why online counseling software has become incredibly popular.
In comparison to paperwork, for instance, they are:
- Easier and more convenient for clients – especially when shared to and completed through a mobile counseling app
- More efficient for your practice – having clients fill out intake forms online allows you to start straight away from your first session
- Customizable, personalizable, and modifiable – giving you the freedom to add your own practice information, client fields, and even repurpose templates for different services
- Cost-effective – reducing your paperwork costs and practice admin time
- Professional – by providing your counseling clients with a streamlined, efficient onboarding experience
- More secure – with today’s software, intake documents for counseling can be delivered with HIPAA-compliant encryption through a private client portal.
Building Online Intake Forms: 13+ Templates
Some good intake form templates to create include:
- A versatile, basic Therapy Intake Form that you can repurpose for different specialty offerings, or personalize with tokens e.g. client name, professional title (see Creating a Good Intake Form)
- An Informed Consent or Telehealth Informed Consent Form: you’ll find plenty of practical examples and templates in our Informed Consent in (Online) Therapy: Templates & Examples resource
- Coaching Intake Forms: find at least 4 helpful forms and templates in our guide to Conducting Intake Effectively: 22 Forms, Questions, & Apps, and for a little more depth
- Goal Setting Forms: such as Quenza’s Habit Creation Plan, available free in your Quenza Expansion Library.
To get started building your own online intake forms, check out our 3-step walkthrough below.
Sending Intake Assessment Forms Easily: A Quenza Guide
If you’ve never used counseling software to build custom practice documents before, Quenza’s easy-to-use online tools are a great place to start.
In this step-by-step guide, we’ll show you how to design a smooth, efficient counseling intake process from the ground up or using handy templates to save time.
Design Intake Forms From Scratch
You can craft bespoke onboarding documents for your counseling practice and send them out to clients using Quenza’s Activity Builder – your all-in-one tool for designing
- Intake Forms
- Patient Questionnaires
- Initial Assessments
- Medical Evaluations, and more
Once you’ve titled your first Activity, you’re free to choose from ready-to-go text fields, check boxes, sliding scales, and multimedia uploads in your right-hand menu:
Simply drag and drop to select relevant elements from your Activity Builder menu to design a form that collects information such as patient name (free text), gender (sliding scale), age (drop-down menu), and emergency contact details.
You’ll be able to save these as templates in your Quenza Activity Library for immediate digital sharing to your clients’ Portal, or you can modify copies of your template for different services.
Design Intake Forms From Templates
If you’re not keen to start from scratch, Quenza’s Expansion Library is a great way to save time by modifying pre-made professional templates.
Like our intake form templates above, you can add unique text, fields, images, videos, or audio to any Expansion Library activity before sending it out digitally.
With the white label feature pictured here, intake forms for therapy or counseling can all be branded with your corporate logo.
Storing Confidential Information
When your clients complete their intake form online, you’ll find the status of their Activity automatically updated in your Dashboard:
You’ll be able to check from your Dashboard whether their forms are pending, overdue, canceled, or complete, and re-send your intake forms with a click where required.
If you’d rather give them a friendly nudge via instant message, Quenza Chat gives you a private and secure touch point:
As shown here, Quenza Chat notifications can be switched on or off to suit your needs, either individually by client or en masse for all your communications.
Like all data collected through the platform, your chats are GDPR- and HIPAA-compliant, giving you a convenient way to stay in touch throughout the whole patient experience.
This means your patients’ intake form data is AES-256 encrypted and protected by personal passwords at both ends, for additional security.
A digital onboarding process can greatly simplify your clients’ lives and dramatically improve their healthcare experience. At your end, online intake forms for counseling give you an eco-friendly, cost-effective way to reduce paperwork at your practice, while keeping essential patient details in one centralized location.
With the templates and walkthrough we’ve provided, creating virtual forms and activities for your counseling practice can be quick, easy, and stress-free. Why not give it a go and let us know what forms you’ve designed?
We hope you enjoyed this article. Don’t forget to check out Quenza’s online intake form tools using your $1 trial and streamline your onboarding today.
Our specialized counseling software will give you all the tools you need to share professional practice documents efficiently, so that you can spend more time improving the wellbeing of others.