The benefits of using a secure contact form go beyond simply acquiring information from clients. A secure contact form can also make practice management more efficient by helping you find the clients who are the best fit for your practice. A contact form can allow you to ask detailed questions that help you discern quickly if a potential client is someone who can benefit from your care – but only if it’s secure and HIPAA compliant.
Let’s take a look at how you can use a secure contact form to vet your clients.
Identifying your best fit client
If you use a standard contact form on your website (one of the free form plugins for a WordPress site, for example), most likely, it isn’t secure. This matters if you’re in any kind of healthcare profession. You can read about all the reasons why in our recent blog post How to put a secure contact form on your practice website, but in a nutshell, HIPAA requires you to secure all protected health information (PHI), even if you haven’t established a relationship yet with the potential client.
You may think that using the simplest contact form possible on your website, collecting only a name and email address, will help you protect your clients’ privacy. However, there are two problems with this strategy. The first is that even a name and email may be considered to be PHI and need to be safeguarded. The second is that you’ll be missing out on a perfect opportunity to vet your potential clients to make sure they’re individuals who will benefit from your care.
As a caring practitioner, you don’t want potential clients to be vulnerable when giving you personal information on a form that isn’t secure, so that limits you to requesting only the most basic information. This gives you a very incomplete picture of who this client is and how you can help them. You might book a session only to find out you’re not a suitable match. This is an inefficient use of your time and theirs.
A secure, HIPAA-compliant form frees you up to ask more detailed questions that qualify the person as an ideal client. You’ll have a much clearer picture of the prospect and what they need from a relationship with you.
Fields you should include on your secure contact form
Include fields for the basic information such as name, phone, and email, but with a secure web form, you don’t have to stop there. Don’t be afraid to ask more probing questions. Here are a few suggestions:
- What are you struggling with right now?
- What do you hope to achieve by seeking care from me?
- Is there anything you’d like to tell me about yourself?
Do you see how, just by answering a few open-ended questions, the client is establishing themselves as either an ideal client who will benefit from your practice or someone who is perhaps better seen by one of your colleagues?
Make a list of the questions you’d most like to ask your potential clients. Then select the three you considered most important to include on your contact form. Consider if you want to make one or more of these questions required, but be aware that requiring fields could be a turnoff for some potential clients. However, you might decide that those clients aren’t individuals best suited to your practice.
You can use our Contact Form template as a starting point in Hush™ Secure Forms.
A secure contact form starts you on the right foot
A web form asking for personal information must be secure. Showing your clients that you pay attention to privacy at the very beginning reassures them that they can feel safe talking to you in your relationship going forward.
A secure contact form can make practice management more efficient by helping you find the clients who are the best fit for your practice. By answering a few open-ended questions, potential clients can establish themselves as either an ideal client who will benefit from your practice or someone who is perhaps better seen by one of your colleagues.