Check patients in and out

Estimated reading: 10 minutes

Learn how to check patients in and out as Cornerstone and the benefits of doing so.

Before you start

Security
  • Appointment –Check in/Out Appointments
  • Patient Check-in/Out
  • Client information
  • Client account
  • Patient information
  • Vital Signs – Add
  • Vital Signs – Edit
  • Referral Doctor Information – View Only
  • Referral Hospital Information – View only

Setup

Important!

  • Once checked in, check-in information cannot be removed or voided from the patient record. 
  • Do not check all patients in at the beginning of the day. It creates inaccurate patient history if the patient does not come in as scheduled.  

Benefits of Check-in/out

Check patients in and out as they arrive and depart to maintain an accurate medical history and picture of practice activity. Patients with appointments simplify the check-in process, but appointments are not required to check a patient in, so practices that are primarily walk-in type also benefit from using the check-in process.

Checking in provides the following benefits:  

  • Adds check-in details to the patient record. 
  • Creates the Check-In Report and initiates any linked documents. The prompt for/print of the report is based on check-in default settings.   
  • Displays patient and status on the Daily Planner Checked-in tab and Census List. The patient will be displayed on the Electronic Whiteboard as ‘inpatient’ when checked in.
  • Displays the patient’s status on their Patient Clipboard. 
  • Updates the related appointment status to checked-in, when viewing Schedule for Today window by Display check-in/check-out. 
  • Tracks check-in and check-out times, reason for visit, and checked-in by staff on the Patient Census report. 
  • Counts as a new or a recheck case when using rDVM information, based on Referral recheck selection.  
  • Checking patients out (through invoicing or manual check-out) will: 
    • Update the related appointment status to checked out, when viewing the Schedule for Today window by Display check-in/check-out. 
    • Track check-in and check-out times and checked-in by staff on the Patient Census report. 
    • Removes patient from Whiteboard, if using. 

Check-in

The Check-In/Out window is used to check in, update and manually check out patients.

Navigate to the Check-In/Out window using any of the following:

  • Appointment > right-click > Check In  
  • Patient Clipboard > right-click patient > Check-in 

Note: See additional notes for alternate pathways. 

Acknowledge/process any reason for visit, patient, or client alerts. Review, enter or modify information as needed in the following areas: 

Client information

  1. Verify client information is correct or enter/edit the information as needed. Security access to client information is required. To enter a client/patient do any of the following: 
    • Click the drop-down to select a recently accessed client. 
    • Enter the client ID and press Tab. 
    • Press F2 or double-click to search and select from the Client List.  
  2. Once a client is selected, enter a patient ID or press F2 to search and select from the client’s patient list, if they have more than one patient. 
  3. Phone numbers: Double-click an existing number in the phone area to update, or right-click > New to add a new phone number. 
  4. Click View to access the Client Account window. security access to the Client Account is required. 

Patient information

  1. Verify patient information is correct or enter/edit the information as needed. Security access to patient information dialog is required. 
  2. If weighing patient at the time of check in, do one of the following: 
    • Enter a new weight, adjusting weight unit if needed. 
    • Click Vital Signs/Weight button to enter a new weight and full Vital Signs set. Security access to Vital Sign – Add, Vital Sign – Edit required. 
  3. Enter/modify information in Additional notes field. This information prints on the Check-In Report and saves to the patient record.  
  4. Click spell check to find and correct spelling errors. 
  5. Enter information in Alert notes field, if needed, to display as a patient alert during this visit only. Alert information will also display on the Daily Planner Checked-in tab and in the Whiteboard alerts area. 
  6. Add, remove, or change Check in/out documents, if needed. 
    • Enter or change the Doc ID or F2 and select. 
    • Click the door icon to use as a check in (red arrow) or check out (green arrow) document. 
    • Press Ctrl + D in the Doc ID field to remove a document. 

Reason for visit

Information is pre-populated if checking in an appointment or if the check in defaults are set up for non-appointment check ins. Review and make any needed changes.

  1. Select the Primary reason for visit.  
  2. Select or free type a Secondary reason, if needed. A primary reason is required to use secondary reasons. 
  3. Select the appointment Room, if needed.  
  4. Specify if this is an Outpatient or Inpatient check-in. Inpatient selection will add patient to Electronic Whiteboard. Inpatient may be preselected based on reason for visit settings.
     
  5. Select Critical, if needed, to flag an inpatient patient with a Critical icon. This icon will display on the Check-in/out, Patient Clipboard, Census List, and Electronic Whiteboard windows.  
  6. Select a status, if needed.  
  7. Select a ward and enter a cage name, if using, to indicate where patient is located in the hospital.  
  8. If using patient referral features (referring doctors and hospitals), do any of the following: 
    • Click add/edit RDVMs, to add or update displayed RDVM information.  
    • Select Referral Recheck to track rechecks vs. new referral cases and sales on referral reports.
      • The referral option may be preselected based on the reason for visit settings.
      • Clear the check box if a new case. 

Reminders/Future appointments

View patient reminders and future appointments in the corresponding fields.  

Check in details

  1. Verify or enter the Staff ID of the staff seeing the patient. F2 to search and select from the staff list if needed. This information populates the Daily Planner Checked-in tab, Census List and Primary reason for visit. 
  2. Verify or enter the Checked-in by Staff ID. F2 to search and select from the staff list.
    • This information may appear by default or set as required.
    • It also displays on the Census report. 
  3. Modify the Check-in Date and Time, if necessary. The current date/time defaults in. 
  4. Do any of the following, as needed: 
    • Click the Refresh icon to update the window with any new information.  
    • Click Travel sheet to print a personalized travel sheet. 
    • Click Make Appt. to make another appointment for the patient. 
  5. When all information reviewed, entered, click Check-in
  6. The Check-in report, if using, may print automatically or prompt to be printed.
    • This is based on check in report settings.
    • If prompted, click Yes or No to print. 
  7. Once checked in: 
    • The patient is added to Daily Planner Checked-in tab and the Census List (F3) with check in details displayed. 
    • Check in information can be updated until the patient is checked out. This can be done manually or through invoicing.  

Update check-in steps

Check in information can be modified as needed for a patient until they are invoiced or manually checked out. Patient history and reportable information uses the updated information.

  1. Navigate using any of the following:
    • Daily Planner Checked-in tab > right-click > Update 
    • Patient Clipboard > right-click patient > Check-in 
    • Appointment > right-click > Check In  
  2. Acknowledge/process any reason for visit, patient, or client alerts.  
  3. Make any needed changes. Example: Update appointment or alert notes, change patient hospital status, etc. 
  4. Click Update
  5. Check in report options may auto print or prompt to print another Check-in report. If prompted, click Yes or No to print. 

Manual check out

Posting an invoice automatically checks patients out, if Check-out patients is checked in the Post invoice window.

In cases where an invoice is not being posted, perform a manual check out when a patient leaves the practice to ensure accurate census records. 

  1. Navigate using any of the following:
    • Appointment > right-click > Check in > Click Check Out 
    • Patient Clipboard > right-click patient > Check in > Click Check Out 
    • Daily Planner Checked-in tab > right-click > Update > Click Check Out 
    • Census List > Check Out 
  2. Click Yes to confirm. This window will display based on check in defaults. 

Additional Information

Check-in/out window
  • Additional pathways to access: 
    • Toolbar > Check-In/Out  
    • Client/Patient Search patient card > right-click > Check in to check in, update and manually check out 
    • Daily Planner Appointments tab (check in) and Checked-in tab (update/manual check out) 
    • Census List Scheduled Appointments view (check in), Outpatient, Patients in Hospital views (update/manual check out) 
  • Appearance and order of alerts are based on alert defaults and if the appointment information is present. 
  • Greyed out/inactive links and fields indicates that security access is not set for the logged in user.
  • Inactive or deceased patients can be checked in.
    • Warning alerts will display.
    • Patient statuses (I) or (D) display on the Daily Planner Checked-in tab and the Census list. 
  • Clicking Close or Cancel will discontinue a check in or update. Click Yes or No to confirm. 

Checking in

Once checked in

Checking out

Related Reports

  • Census report 
  • Checked-in Census report 

Resources

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