Then VS. Now – The Evolution Of Digital Signatures In Healthcare

02 Jan

Before we go ahead and understand the before and after scenario of the use of eSignature Solution for Healthcare Professionals, let us understand how things used to work before the invention and use of Digital Signature Solutions.

A few decades ago when anybody wanted to get admitted in a hospital or a Health Care Centre he or she had to go there in person to fill the required forms and make payment in cash. Sometimes patients' relatives or friends use to accompany them to the hospital and stand in long lines to fill the required forms and make the payment. In all this procedure the patient and the family had to wait for us to get the process completed and only then they used to get admitted in the hospital. Delay in admission used to lead to delay in treatment and subsequent delay in the recovery of the patient. In severe cases many patients had to lose their life just because they couldn't get treated in time.

Once the treatment used to begin,the patients or their families had to carry the medical history of the patients in physical files to help doctors understand patients' medical condition better. Doctors had to go through each file and each detail manually to understand the condition and then the treatment would start. This used to take a few hours and even a day.

If the patient has a medical. Insurance to cover the expenses, there used to be a few more papers and forms to be filled and then wait again for the approval of the claim. All these things used to eat up on the valuable treatment period, risking patients' lives.

However, the introduction of eSignature Healthcare Solutions changed the healthcare sector for good.

Can you recall the moment when you had your first mobile phone? People were amused to see something like that. It was no less than magic. But now, those phones are considered outdated or antiq. Just like the cell phone technology has changed over the years. The way we use to sign the documents has changed too.

And one of the sectors which has been greatly influenced by the introduction of Electronic Signature software is the healthcare sector.

Introduction of these solutions has changed the way patients are treated and dealt with. It has changed the way insurance companies play their role in medical treatment. It has changed the way doctors used to take patients' consent.

However, in the beginning the Healthcare sector was not so open to the deployment of Electronic Signature software. The speed of the adoption of the Technology was very slow. One of the reasons why the adaptation in the beginning was not as expected by the market was due to the hesitance of the patient and the Health Care Centre to rely on a technology when it is about somebody's life and highly personal data. To overcome the hesitation and to stay in the market Healthcare institutions started using a hybrid formula where they used to use both paper and electronic approach to treat the patients and process the documentation. Solutions like electronic signature clipboards were used. With these clipboards, the patients would be recorded in the EHR and both paper based and electronic consent would be requested. This paper was then placed on the e clipboard and the patients would request to sign the paper using a special pen. This way, they used to have both the physical and electronic signatures.

However, the process was not really in compliance with the HIPAA regulations. 

Soon the healthcare centers realized that the process is not going to work in the long run and the demand for the complete adoption of esignature solutions for a PDF Signature started growing.

Post-adoption of esignature solutions, all patients have to do is sign directly on the screen of the computer device.

With the adoption of advanced electronic signature software, patients do not have to leave their beds to complete any documentation process, everything is available to them on their smartphone.

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

Well, it is not that hard to imagine the future of the electronic signature in the healthcare sector. The present pandemic has given us an idea of how the future could be in general. People would rely more on the digital process and tools to perform crucial activities and even small daily errands.

Contactless transactions will survive in every possible area. As a part of this, organizations are getting ready to deploy new tools that can simplify their daily operations and help them to offer customer-friendly services.

As far as the healthcare sector is concerned, no professional Health Care Centre would wish for its patient to wait aur waste time in the waiting room especially during the pandemic. Hospitals have started finding solutions to this already. The use of telemedicine has increased drastically. And to make it more easier, medical centers are sharing electronic consent forms to the patients which they can sign from anywhere they are using their smartphone, or tablet or laptop or any other computer device. Different laws are made across the world to secure this process and offer it a legal validity. The motto is to reduce the waiting time and stationery cost, offer a contactless and faster check-in and facilitate faster treatments too.

Read the blog- What Are the Benefits of E-Signature Software?

All this is certainly leading to the future of patient electronic signature solutions, and the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) system.

Let us explore the benefits of a reliable eSignature Solution for Healthcare Professionals

Cost-Saving

Using a reliable electronic signature software reduces the cost of financial, productivity and environmental nature. Using electronic signature solutions makes it easier for the staff to collect medical documents. There is no need for making expenses on maintaining papers, printing documents, storing data, etc.

Time-Saving

Installing digital signature pads for each bed saves time that otherwise would have been spent on handling documents, storing papers, etc. This saved time can be used to attend patients more dedicatedly.

Digital signature also simplifies the registration process by consolidating electronic documents. These documents are stored digitally for more safety and better accessibility. One can recall any document at any time by using different filters.

Using eSignature Healthcare Solutions helps in streamlining all the workflow within the center and with other stakeholders.