The form fields that are selected for each question will determine the quality of a form and the quality of the data you collect in your EHR software. It’s important that you understand each of the different field types to make sure you’re selecting the one that works best for your purposes.
You’ve surely received the advice to “put yourself in someone else’s shoes” before. Most likely when you were frustrated by another person’s actions. This advice isn’t just applicable to trying to be more understanding of someone’s actions. It’s also applicable to creating forms for your agency.
We’ve all been tasked with filling out forms that just make our brains go on autopilot. It happens when you’re selecting what feels like a never-ending list of “N/A” responses. Or you’ve been filling out a form, and a question that has no relation to the questions before or after it finds its way into the list. Typically, these scenarios don’t prevent you from finishing the form (especially if it’s mandatory), but it’s frustrating and harms your overall experience.
This can easily be prevented if the form creator puts themselves in the shoes of the person completing the form.
To create a good form, the form creator needs to take time to think through each aspect of it and plan how to effectively incorporate conditional logic.
An Example in Conditional Logic
Let’s say that one of your form questions is “Has the client received prior treatment for this issue?” And the subsequent questions all pertain to the client’s past treatment experiences. But what you didn’t consider was that most of your clinic’s population are seeking treatment for the first time.
When the client inevitably states that they’ve never received treatment before, your clinician must select the “N/A” option for all the subsequent questions before they can move on. Or maybe those fields aren’t required, but the clinician may miss a question that is important because they assumed it pertained to prior treatment and skipped it.
If the form creator is incorporating conditional logic, they can avoid this. By thinking about the most likely answers to the form, they’ll realize that most clients will not have received treatment before. They can then plan accordingly and structure the form so that the questions that relate to a client’s prior treatment experiences are only required if the clinician selects “yes” to the “Has the client received prior treatment for this issue” question. Otherwise, the clinician can easily skip them.
Including conditional logic in your form creation process will ensure that you’re producing forms that can be completed efficiently. It also ensures that your data is clean and maintains high integrity for reporting.