COVID-19 has accelerated the move to digital systems for many medical practices—in fact, 55% of healthcare organizations invested in digital tools during the pandemic.
But which tools are simply band-aid solutions to survive the pandemic and which ones promise a better patient experience for years to come?
As we transition to a world that lives with COVID, healthcare providers need to assess their digital tools and distinguish which ones will help going forward and where to trim the fat.
One solution that should be a fundamental part of your tech stack is eSignatures. Here’s why.
eSignatures are so much more than just digital signatures
Yes, eSignatures do what they say on the packet—let healthcare providers and patients sign documents digitally—but they can also modernize your document workflows.
Advanced eSignature solutions also offer customizable templates—meaning you can digitize your patient registration forms, consent forms, insurance claim forms, and more. That way, every time a new patient needs a form, it’s as simple as inputting their name.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. If you want to get really sophisticated, you can integrate these forms with other systems like your CRM. That way the data from each returned form can be captured and saved with the relevant patient record, and used to pre-populate future forms.
Integration also reduces errors that might happen with traditional data input and means standard information, like a patient’s name, address, and contact details can be automatically filled in future forms.
Save time and prevent delays
A great digital experience delivers what patients are looking for: 41% want digital forms and communication, and 53% would consider changing doctors for digital paperwork and virtual care. And with good reason. Think how much time could be saved in the waiting room if patients could fill in their registration form online ahead of their first appointment.
Better yet, imagine sending out digital consent forms ahead of a procedure, rather than handling them while a patient is sitting nervously in a hospital bed. And imagine if you could send through the insurance claims forms for signing at home after treatment.
Not only does digital paperwork mean less waiting around for patients, it also lets you get ahead on all that essential admin, saving your team time that could be better spent actually seeing and treating patients.
Deliver a seamless digital patient experience
There’s a big difference between digitization and a great patient experience. For instance, emailing PDF forms to patients is technically “digital,” but it's also a time-consuming and difficult way for patients to sign and return paperwork. Not everyone owns a printer-scanner.
With eSignature APIs, you can embed templates directly into your website or app, so every patient form is in its own cohesive workflow—no switching between tabs, windows, or applications for patients to sign documents.
What’s more, because every form is digital, patients can sign from anywhere, on any device, while healthcare admin staff can send and store sensitive documents securely, in a few clicks.
Hire and onboard staff faster
Another way eSignatures improve the patient experience is by getting healthcare workers in front of patients faster.
Hiring new healthcare workers is a long-winded and often slow process that involves both background checks and credentialing.
But by integrating eSignatures into existing systems, healthcare providers can speed up the hiring and onboarding processes for medical staff.
Take Beam Healthcare, a supplier of doctors to remote hospitals and online telemedicine services, for instance. “When Beam hired a doctor, the doctor filled out an application. Beam would then do a background check. But then once the doctor is sent out to work at a hospital, they have to fill out the same application again on paper, because each hospital has its own process and carries out its own background checks that are then approved by that hospital’s committee,” says Sarjoo Patel, CEO of Beam.
By using the Dropbox Sign API to auto-populate documents and reduce the need for doctors to fill in paperwork multiple times, Beam reduced the time its staff spent on administrative paperwork by 50%, saved an estimated $600 per employee, and meant doctors could spend more time with patients.
Stay secure and compliant
eSignature solutions meet the stringent requirements for signing, storing, and distributing healthcare information. Given that healthcare providers are increasingly being targeted by cybercriminals, this is critical for patient trust and your practice’s cybersecurity.
Dropbox Sign has SOC 2 Type 1 attestation against the Security, Confidentiality, and Availability Trust Principles and Criterion, and controls in place to keep electronic protected health information (ePHI) safe. It’s also compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Security-conscious eSignature providers like Dropbox Sign even encrypt every document and store it in a certified data center. Access to this data center is strictly controlled by security staff equipped with video surveillance, multi-step authentication, and state-of-the-art intrusion detection systems.
Put your patient experience first with eSignatures
Patient experience is key in an industry as personal and private as healthcare—so improving patient experience should be a priority. One way to make an immediate and powerful impact is with eSignatures, which reduce the admin load on patients, free your staff up to provide patients with better care, and introduce process improvements in healthcare situations.
If you don’t have eSignature in place, take a look at our latest e-guide, Your Guide to eSignatures for Healthcare, to find out how eSignatures can make the healthcare experience better for patients, doctors, and administrators at your practice.