Evolution of Digital Signatures in the Healthcare Industry


Before digging deep into the ‘before and after scenario’ of the use of eSignature Healthcare Solutions for Healthcare Professionals, let us find out how things used to work before technology took over the sector and before the use of Electronic Signature software.

Years and years prior when anyone needed to get admitted to a clinic or a Health Care Center the individual needed to go there physically to fill the necessary forms and make payment in cash or through credit (that used to be handed over personally to the cashier). Often patients' family members or companions use to go with them to the emergency hospital and remain in long queues to fill the necessary documents and make the payment. In this system, the patient and the family needed to sit tight until the process was finished and only then they used to get admitted to the clinic.

Even a slight delay in admitting the patient used to prompt a delay in treatment and resulting delay in the recovery of the patient. In extreme cases, numerous patients needed to lose their life since they couldn't get treated on schedule.

When the therapy used to begin, the patients or their families needed to submit the medical history of the patients in physical format to assist medical professionals with understanding patients' health conditions better. Professionals needed to go through each file and each detail manually to comprehend the condition and afterwards the treatment would begin. This used to require a couple of hours and sometimes even a day.

If the patient has medical Protection to cover the costs, there used to be a couple of more papers and structures to be filled, and afterwards, the patient or the family members had to stand in the queue for many hours to submit the required insurance documents and get the signatures on them. Every one of these things used to eat up on the important treatment period, taking a chance with patients' lives.

With the invention and use of eSignature Healthcare Solutions, the healthcare sector got changed for the better.

The introduction of Digital Signature for Government Agencies and the healthcare sector has changed the manner in which patients are dealt with and taken care of. It has changed the manner in which insurance agencies assume their part in medical treatment. It has changed the manner in which medical professionals used to take patients' approval or consent.

In the beginning, though, the Healthcare industry was not so open to the use of eSignature Solution for Government Agencies or healthcare. The speed of the adaption to the technology was exceptionally sluggish. One reason why the transformation was not smooth and rather hesitant was because of the reluctance of the patient and the Health Care Center to depend on technology or software when it is about someone's life and exceptionally highly private information.

To defeat the wavering and to remain in the market Healthcare organizations began utilizing a half and half formula where they relied on both paper and electronic ways to treat the patients and perform the process of documentation. Technologies like electronic signature clipboards were used. Using these clipboards, the healthcare organization used to record the patients' data in both the electronic and paper-based format and for this, the patients would need to give an electronic consent where the paper would then be placed on the electronic clipboard and the patients would request to sign the document using a special pen. This way the hospital used to have both electronic and paper-based signatures or consent.

However, this hybrid solution was not actually in compliance with the HIPAA guidelines. Before long, the medical care centres understood that the process won't work over the long term and from this point, the demand for a total adaptation to the electronic signature gained momentum in the healthcare sector.

Post-adoption of eSignature Solution for Healthcare Professionals, all patients have to do is make signatures directly on the computer screen or the screen of the mobile device. With this solution in the market, medical care organizations no longer have to force their patients to leave the bed or the treatment room in order to complete the documentation process; nor do the family of the patient have to suffer. Every documentation process can be completed using a smartphone.

How the Future of Digital Signature Solutions in the Healthcare Sector Looks?

Indeed, it isn't that difficult to envision the future of the electronic signature in the medical care market. The current pandemic has given us a thought of how the future could be. Individuals would depend more on digital interaction and rely on computing devices to perform daily or occasional transactions.

Contactless transactions will be preferred by many in every area or way possible. Many healthcare organizations are hence preparing to install new devices or software that can take care of the day-by-day activities and assist them in offering customer-friendly services.

As long as we are talking about the healthcare sector, no professional Health Care organization would want its patient to wait in the waiting room or in long lines for the completion of the documentation process, especially during the ongoing pandemic. Many hospitals across the world have already started finding solutions to this.

As a result, the use of telemedicine has grown. And to make it simpler, medical centres are using electronic consent forms which their patients can sign from anywhere using their smartphone, or tablet or any other computing device with an internet connection. Across the world, many laws and regulations are passed to secure this process and back it legally. The goal is to mitigate the waiting period and stationery expenses, offer a contactless check-in, and faster treatment. This is certainly going in the direction of the ‘bring-your-own-device (BYOD)’ system.

Here are a few benefits of a credible eSignature Solution for Healthcare Professionals:

  1. “Staying healthy” in the healthcare industry

Dhore Anunciado who is the Executive Director at San Diego Eye Bank says many of the staff members go in and out of hospitals every day. The bank does not want to risk the health and life of these staff members and consequently the other staff members of the bank who deal with them. The bank is hence relying on e signature solutions to reduce the exposure to the Coronavirus. Many business organisations and their decisions makers are thinking on the same line. Performing documentation processes through as remote-friendly ways as possible is one of the prominent benefits of Electronic Signature software.

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This software is capable of transforming the signature process completely by decreasing the numbers of unnecessary trips to the workplace and in-person interactions, etc. It is also nowadays possible for professionals to validate any document by simply using facial recognition technology. Plus, your staff no longer has to risk their health during this pandemic just to make or take a few signatures. It is time to utilize the productivity of the staff in performing core business operations.

  1. No more choosing between paperwork and patients.

Staff working at the medical centre. Such as a nurse, desk manager, clerk, physician, etc have complained about the time consuming and boring medical paperwork. As per the data given by Medical Economics, 44% of physicians accept that their performance gets decreased due to paperwork and administrative tasks. Esignature Solution for Healthcare Professionals accelerates the paperwork. This means, your staff is free to focus on their core job, which is taking care of patients and treating them the best. Following are the ways in which eSignature Solution for Healthcare Professionals helps medical staff:

Electronic approval and sharing of documents like staff timesheets across departments.

Allowing to manage medical records, check-in, discharge and prescriptions remotely.

Smooth onboarding and management of new staff and taking care of their credentials.

Collecting signatures and streamlining them for smooth documentation.

User-friendly interface that makes it possible for the staff to use the software easily from anywhere at any time.

A contactless signature process that one can perform from his/her own mobile or any computing device.

  1. Keep hospitals running with disruption-free paperwork

No matter how tiring and boring the paperwork is for the medical staff, no one can deny its importance and the work must be completed within the given time for the smooth treatment of the patients. However, what can be changed is the way documentation processes are performed. If one has to make sure that the sharing and managing of the documents take place smoothly even with the geographical distance, a contactless solution like a digital signature solution is crucial. Once the digital signatures are made electronic signature software can be used to store the data and the documents safely on the cloud, away from the risk of misplacement, errors, loss, etc. Plus, your staff and the concerned patient can easily access the data whenever they want.

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  1. Improve patient experience

Whenever we talk about an ideal patient care experience, hurdles like long queues, long waiting hours, delay in getting the signatures due to the unavailability of the signee, delays in processing the documents, etc must be avoided. Digitization of the documentation process offers enough scope to treat patients positively and in time. Your patients and their family members no longer have to run after administrative professionals and others to get the documents signed or submit the signed documents.