1. Resources
  2. Blogs
  3. How Digital Signature Software can Improve Patient and Staff Experience
Electronic Signatures are a Cost Saver in Hospitals

How Digital Signature Software can Improve Patient and Staff Experience

Vijith Menon

The healthcare industry has faced significant challenges, and its dedicated workforce, comprising doctors, nurses, and administrative personnel, has consistently performed a multitude of tasks to ensure the smooth functioning of healthcare operations. To add to this, the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic posed yet another formidable test to this workforce. As a result, the demands on healthcare professionals reached unprecedented levels, necessitating external assistance from technology to alleviate the strain. However, technology was pivotal in enabling healthcare staff to work seamlessly and effectively to serve patients during these trying times.

In these challenging times, the significance of digital technologies in empowering doctors cannot be overstated. These technologies continue to play a crucial role in enabling healthcare professionals to reclaim their focus on their core training and expertise. With a deep understanding of hospital dynamics and the needs of healthcare providers, innovative technologies are being developed to ease the burden and enhance the delivery of patient care.

Hurdles Faced by the Healthcare Staff 

  • Managing the Volume of Paperwork  -  One of the most significant challenges faced by healthcare professionals is the overwhelming volume of paperwork they encounter on a daily basis. Traditional paper-based processes are not only time-consuming but also prone to errors and the misplacement of important documents, which can have serious implications for patient care. The burden of managing extensive paperwork has led to increased burnout among healthcare staff and has the potential to impact the overall quality of care provided.

  • Lack of Flexibility in Traditional Paper -  Based Processes - Another significant pain point for healthcare professionals is the lack of flexibility and mobility inherent in traditional paper-based processes. Accessing and signing patient records and other vital documents becomes challenging, especially in remote and virtual care scenarios. Traditional paper-based systems often restrict healthcare professionals from accessing information outside the hospital or healthcare facility, hindering their ability to provide seamless and efficient care across different locations.

  • Compliance with Regulations  - In addition, healthcare professionals face the intricate task of adhering to multiple regulatory requirements, which can be complex and time-consuming. For instance, ensuring the secure electronic signing and storage of patient records and other confidential information poses challenges within traditional paper-based processes. Meeting these compliance standards can be arduous, demanding additional time and effort from healthcare professionals and potentially impacting the overall efficiency of healthcare operations.

  • High Costs  - Finally, one of the major pain points for hospital staff in the healthcare industry is the exorbitant expenses related to traditional paper-based processes. These include printing, postage, storage, and administrative overhead. The financial burden of managing and maintaining paper-based systems can be substantial, diverting resources that could be better allocated to patient care and other critical areas.

Adopting digital solutions can offer a cost-effective alternative, streamlining operations, reducing reliance on physical documentation, and freeing up financial resources for more essential healthcare initiatives.

What is eSignature in the healthcare industry? 

Electronic signatures, also known as e-signatures, have become indispensable in providing streamlined patient care and a seamless digital experience for healthcare staff and patients. These electronic signature generator platforms offer a practical solution for reducing costs and enhancing efficiency within the healthcare industry. By leveraging electronic signatures, healthcare organizations can authenticate patients using their digital identities and facilitate the capture of patient consent from any location and on any device. In addition, this technology enables healthcare professionals to eliminate the need for cumbersome paper-based processes, ensuring secure and efficient documentation while delivering an improved patient experience.

What is the use of digital signatures in healthcare? 

  • Mitigating Misplaced Documents - The abundance of forms and paperwork required for hospital admissions and patient exits often leads to errors and misplaced documents. Manual processes can result in not-in-good-order (NIGO) documents and loss of critical patient information. Implementing digital signatures helps eliminate these issues by providing a streamlined and accurate documentation process.

  • Reducing Waiting Periods - In the healthcare industry, forms frequently need to be printed, copied, and circulated among various stakeholders, causing delays and bottlenecks for patients. Adopting digital signatures eliminates the need for physical paperwork, reducing waiting periods and enhancing the overall efficiency of administrative processes.

  • Enhancing Storage Organization - Hospitals often struggle with disorganized storage systems due to the high volume of patients and limited healthcare staff. This leads to difficulty locating and retrieving patient records promptly, causing frustration for staff and patients. Digital signatures enable the transition to electronic record-keeping, ensuring organized and easily accessible patient information.

  • Improving Turnaround Time (TAT) for Signatures - Obtaining signatures from multiple stakeholders, including doctors and the billing department, can be time-consuming. This inefficiency drains valuable productive time within hospitals. On the other hand, an online digital signature solution facilitates a swift and secure electronic signing process, reducing administrative burdens and enabling healthcare professionals to focus on delivering timely and effective patient care.

  • Enhancing Patient Satisfaction - Businesses that still rely on paper-based processes take longer than those utilizing automated systems. According to recent studies, paperwork contributes to approximately 34.2% of healthcare costs in the United States. By implementing digital signatures, healthcare organizations can streamline workflows, reduce paperwork-related delays, and ultimately improve patient satisfaction.

Also Read: Role of Digital Signatures in Behavioral Healthcare

Use of eSignatures in the Healthcare Industry

  • Patient Consent Forms - Patients must sign many consent forms, ranging from surgical consents to treatment authorizations. By leveraging eSignatures, healthcare facilities can revolutionize the consent process by enabling patients to sign these forms electronically. This eliminates the reliance on traditional paper-based forms, allowing hospitals to transition towards a fully digital consent system.

  • Medical Orders - With electronic signatures, doctors can sign medical orders directly within a patient's electronic medical record (EMR). This streamlined process enhances efficiency, minimizes errors, and ensures timely electronic signing of orders, improving patient care and operational effectiveness.

  • Prescriptions - Through eSignatures, doctors can electronically sign and transmit prescriptions to pharmacies, eliminating the reliance on handwritten prescriptions. This digital approach improves accuracy, reduces the risk of errors or lost prescriptions, and enables pharmacists to process prescriptions with greater speed and precision, ultimately enhancing patient safety and convenience.

  • Discharge Papers - Digital signatures are utilized by hospitals to sign discharge papers, which contain vital instructions for follow-up care, medications, and other essential information. This efficient process enables hospitals to promptly provide patients with the necessary information and ensure they have signed their discharge papers before leaving.

  • Administrative Paperwork - Hospitals leverage eSignatures to sign various administrative documents, including employment contracts, vendor agreements, and other legal paperwork. By adopting e-signatures, hospitals eliminate the need for paper-based processes and enhance their document management practices.

DrySign | The eSignature solution for healthcare 

DrySign is an online digital signature solution that optimizes workflows and makes signing documents online easy and accessible. With cloud-based storage, the platform allows for seamless accessibility, empowering users to sign documents from anywhere at any time. In addition, DrySign strictly adheres to eSignature laws, such as the ESIGN and UETA, ensuring its legality and enforceability. This makes it possible for numerous stakeholders to endorse documents, while parallel workflows facilitate efficient collaboration and review of document changes.

Benefits of DrySign eSignatures 

  • Low Patient Waiting Time Electronic signing processes reduce patient waiting time and improve patient outcomes. This creates a positive patient experience and faster access to doctors.

  • Minimize Opportunities for Errors Patients can consent using online signatures rather than physical signatures. This reduces the probability of errors and automates workflow.

  • Improve Operating Efficiency – Digitization of documents helps doctors and patients sign application forms from the comfort of their homes. In addition, e-signatures improve the efficiency rate during claims processing and ensure all signature fields are filled.

  • Keep Data Secure DrySign keeps patient signatures and patient information secure. It can overcome the limitations of paper documents and wet signatures and help store and archive digital documents. DrySign is also certified by Entrust (HIPAA compliant.)

  • Robust Approval The approval of urgent patient procedures and consent forms can be fast-tracked by eSignatures. This helps in saving the time of doctors and patients.

  • Transparent Mail Trail – A transparent mail trail ensures that patient medical history and medical data are correctly recorded and clearly visible in case of an audit. In addition, digital signatures make it possible to prove who, when, and where each document is signed.

  • Fewer Hurdles – The healthcare staff has to jump through fewer hoops and can process forms rapidly. DrySign makes it possible to gain consent quickly from all stakeholders involved.

  • Regulatory Compliance DrySign adheres to ESIGN and UETA and is certified by Entrust. This ensures that hospitals can abide by regulations and deliver quality patient care.

In summary, eSignature technology is crucial in modern hospitals and healthcare facilities, enabling healthcare professionals to streamline administrative processes, reduce costs, increase efficiency, and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.

Accelerate productivity and efficiency with DrySign

Source: eurekalert.org

DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is for general information purposes only and is not intended to serve as legal advice. Laws governing the subject matter may change quickly, and Exela cannot guarantee that all the information on this site is current or correct. Should you have specific legal questions about any of the information on this site, you should consult with a licensed attorney in your area.

Contact Us

Subscribe to our blogs

Stay updated with what's happening

Get all our stories delivered straight to your mailbox.
Subscribe to our blog and get the latest stories delivered to you. No spam, no promotional messages. Guaranteed!