We know the realities all too well. Time and resources are limited. Problems are increasingly complex. The only constant is change. In an era where innovation has literally become a survival tactic, an industry as complex and regulated as healthcare struggles to keep pace while ensuring public trust.
When personal health information is at stake, medical records need to be optimally managed, organized, and protected. Given this, confidentiality, security, and accuracy remain critical challenges in health.
Thankfully, many established and emerging technologies are helping to alleviate the pressures that healthcare providers are currently under.
Here, we look at 5 reasons electronic signatures in healthcare are helping health professionals fulfill administrative duties so they can spend less time on paperwork and more time on patient care.
1. They Save Time and Money
Since the E-SIGN Act of 2000 confirmed that e-signatures are legally binding, this has helped streamline mission-critical document signing processes.
Given the complexity of government regulatory requirements, electronic recordkeeping and document signing reduces task redundancy and facilitates the transmission of medical information in a secure and accurate manner.
Not only does this help to prevent costly mistakes in treatment, e-signatures also slash spending on postage and materials like ink and paper, as well as eliminate time-consuming tasks like waiting for urgent documents to be approved and signed.
2. They’re Convenient
With the rapid growth of “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) in the healthcare environment, accessibility is one of the major hallmarks of e-signatures.
Medical records can be digitally saved, archived and accessed by the right people at any time. Contracts and negotiations can also be updated without requiring any costly and time-consuming travel.
3. They Increase Security
While the digitization of electronic medical records (EMRs) has many proven benefits, it does bring increased security and privacy risks.
Signed documents, hand-written progress notes, copies of referrals, and discharge summaries must remain legitimate and free of interference. The software used to enable e-signatures relies on technologies that convert the signatures into secured, encrypted data.
If the information is intruded, the audit-trail data that is deposited into every signature will indicate all the details involved.
4. They Serve as Legal Evidence
If a practice or incident were to go under investigation and documents are demanded, e-signatures can stand as legal evidence for the case. E-signature applications have the ability to indicate how much time a person spends on different sections of a document before signing it.
This is a way of confirming that the person understands the information regarding treatment and other health-related details. This type of information serves as substantial evidence which can stand in the face of any legal proceeding.
5. They Provide Efficiency in a Demanding Sector
E-signature solutions provide a platform for healthcare management to integrate all signed documents into one location to reduce the chance of errors and increase efficiency.
Professionals and their clients no longer have to wait on documents or contracts to be finalized to begin rendering or receiving services.