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’re probably thinking that with all these different field types, there has to be one that’s the shining star. One that rises above the rest because it’s just that good. And there is – it’s the single choice drop-down. This field type is the most important field type you can use when collecting data, mainly because it pulls only “clean data”, making reporting so much simpler.
Data captured from single choice drop-down fields is inherently discrete because the user can only select one answer. Typically, when you use single choice drop-down menus you pull the list of options from a central place. This gives you the flexibility to add that list to multiple forms that can update a central storage version of that field.
For example, if a client was initially diagnosed with depression, it may be later determined that the proper diagnoses should be anxiety. The single choice drop-down with proper pre-filling connections is the mechanism that ensures you get that client’s diagnoses properly updated everywhere it needs to be.
And for the visual learners –
Single choice drop-down fields provide data that is the most versatile for visual reporting. It can easily be used as the foundation for bar or line graphs, pie charts, and tree maps.
When creating your form, you want to be sure to include single choice drop-down fields. You’ll be able to collect the information you’re looking for and easily manipulate it into a visual that tells your agency’s story.
But watch out for multi-select drop-downs, as they do not carry the same benefits and pose a new set of reporting challenges.
To learn more about this functionality along with many others, download the Principles of Data Collection eBook to get started today!