Each day, healthcare workers deal with a large amount of paperwork; consent forms, medical questionnaires, insurance forms, physician credentials… the types of healthcare-related forms requiring signatures are truly vast. To cut down on physical paperwork, healthcare providers shift to digital documents with electronic signatures. And in the field of telehealth, electronic signatures are the new norm. The benefits of using e-signatures in telehealth by far outweigh traditional paperwork, as outlined in this article.
4 reasons to use e-signatures in telehealth
What are the benefits of using electronic signatures in a healthcare setting?
1. A better patient experience
When electronic signatures are used before a patient arrives for their appointment, the patient experience is streamlined. Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, when patients don’t wish to sit in a waiting room for an extended period of time, these electronically created and transmitted documents can make life easier and safer.
In a telehealth setting, offering forms for electronic signatures in an easy-to-use way is crucial to ensuring remote medical care success. An intuitive online e-signature solution helps to make the process as efficient as possible. Countersign’s workflow allows patients to sign documents without signing up or downloading an app, making it truly efficient.
2. Savings on time and cost
Physical paperwork can be difficult to store and organize. Scanning documents or transferring information to the electronic medical record (EMR) is time-consuming and costly. By contrast, electronically signed documents can be received, stored, analyzed, and organized directly; no scanning or file cabinets necessary. Countersign stores all documents safe and secure in the cloud, making them available to you 24/7 on any device with a browser and internet connection.
When physicians and other healthcare professionals have less paperwork to deal with, they have more time and energy to focus on patient care. This can help protect them from burnout while ensuring more efficient care overall.
3. Enhanced security
Medical information is the most sensitive personal information. There’s an entire set of regulations and requirements that dictate how health information should be handled. The hefty fines and consequences for HIPAA violations vividly show how important it is to keep patients’ medical information wholly private.
E-signature solutions, such as Countersign, help healthcare professionals because they are more secure than physical documents. Not only are they less susceptible to physical damage, misplacement, or theft, they also come with added security measures, such as duo-factor authentication, cloud backup, and digital audit trails.
4. Enabling telehealth
As the pandemic progresses, telehealth has become a common method of distributing medical services. Medical care that doesn’t necessarily require in-person interaction, using telehealth (such as video calls, phone calls, or apps) can help individuals get the advice, diagnoses, or medications without physically visiting a clinic.
Electronic signatures and telehealth go hand-in-hand
By offering an option for digital signatures, telehealth providers can help make sure that remote care is seamless, efficient, and truly doesn’t require any in-person interaction. Telehealth strategies become an important part of any healthcare professional’s arsenal. Using electronic signatures and a paperless system will help patients and providers alike.
Each healthcare provider should educate themselves on the particular requirements of their medical forms and the states they practice. According to an article in Becker’s Hospital Review, healthcare professionals should make sure that they clearly display relevant terms when asking for electronic signatures, provide patients with the option to print terms, and record the date, time, and other information about each document. They should also make sure to use a process that shows a patient consented to sign—for example, with a “distinct action” for an e-signature (instead of simply clicking on a “Next” button within a browser window).
Are you a healthcare professional seeking ways to streamline your care process and improve your patient experience? Visit Countersign to learn more about electronic signatures and adopt the benefits of using e-signatures for telehealth.