For any therapist, patients’ safety, convenience, and privacy are of paramount importance. Therefore, it’s not surprising that therapists are switching from paper to electronic signatures. Especially with the rising number of telehealth cases, the convenience and efficiency a good online e-signature solution offers can elevate any therapy session’s competence and trust.
The following article was written by a licensed therapist with a growing number of online clientele. She has chosen Countersign as her online e-signature partner.
Legal signatures at the therapist’s office
The benefits of switching to e-signature systems are numerous. In my line of work, making sure that signatures are legitimate and legally binding is very important. This ensures I meet legal requirements, such as doctor-patient confidentiality and HIPAA legal standards.
Electronic signatures are completely statutory—they are legally identical to paper signatures. This has been true in the U.S. since 2000 when the federal government passed legislation that made electronic signatures legally binding (editors note: the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (ESIGN) Act). I can feel confident that I meet legal requirements when requesting my clients to fill out forms and sign documents electronically.
E-signatures as a solution to a therapist’s paperwork
One important form that needs to be filled out at the beginning of any consultation is the consent form. The client needs to sign this before we start any session. Without a signature, the therapy is not happening.
Countersign allows me to store a template of the consent form. I can easily change the client’s name and send it over to them right after setting the time of the first appointment. It doesn’t matter if the client will visit me in my office or if we’re set to do sessions online; the consent form goes out electronically and is archived in Countersign.
Other forms, like evaluation forms, HIPAA notices, and insurance forms, are also available electronically. For telehealth clients a must, I offer these e-signature documents to on-site clients as well.
The willingness to fill out and e-sign forms online on the clients’ own terms has been very positive.Therapist on the clients’ experience with Countersign
Organized electronic paperwork thanks to Countersign
As a result, therapists like me face large amounts of paperwork—the amount can be daunting and difficult to organize. Allowing them to live online within Countersign has been a great relief to my office. There are fewer folders required, and I can access the documents at any time, from any device.
Because electronic signatures create secure digital records—which are essentially impossible to change or tamper with—an e-signature solution also adds necessary security. The last thing any therapist would want is for their clients’ highly personal information to be compromised in any way. With safe servers and a digital record of who has accessed forms, Countersign gives my clients and me peace of mind that their information is secure.
With a quality e-signature service like Countersign, therapists like myself can reach new levels of safety, convenience, satisfaction, and organization.