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Registration, simplified

It's often the first point of patient contact-and it can also be the most chaotic. At patient check-in and ­registration, harried staff collect data as simple as name and daytime phone number, as critical to care as medical and family ­history, and as thorny as copays, coinsurance, and ­deductibles. Patients hate the waiting room, too-with its germy inhabitants, old magazines, and reams of paperwork to fill out. And with the growing number of high-deductible insurance plans and rising copays, an inefficient front desk can also mean missed revenue opportunities.