- April 12, 2023
- Symphony Ragan, Content Specialist
If there’s one industry that handles a ton of paperwork while also requiring safe, secure, and HIPAA-compliant eSignatures, it’s the healthcare industry. Every process, procedure, and authorization requires a doctor’s signature or approval by a nurse, physician’s assistant, or administrator; this is why electronic signatures have become such an essential component of everyday healthcare processes – especially with physicians.
Electronic signatures have changed the name of the game in patient care. In fact, many of the healthcare industry’s processes have been dramatically improved because of electronic signatures. Take a look:
With the increased use of electronic signatures on digital documents, medical institutions have reduced paperwork loss, theft, and tampering. Relatedly, they have experienced a boost in patient privacy with documents that contain a doctor’s signature.
Better Doctor Signature Accuracy
Reduction in missed information input, increased legibility, faster corrections – electronic signatures play a significant role in the accuracy of medical documents and paperwork that requires a doctor’s signature.
Now, patients, doctors, and other healthcare workers can approve, sign, send, and receive vital healthcare documents and obtain doctor’s signatures with a few mouse clicks instead of waiting for the mail, faxes, or courier services.
If you’re in the healthcare industry, you’re definitely familiar with HIPAA and their important but stringent privacy and security standards. Electronic signatures have enabled healthcare professionals to share and manage personal health records (PHR) securely. HIPAA-compliant eSignatures have never been so easy.
Faster approvals, faster document sending, shorter document receiving – through electronic signatures, healthcare can be delivered to patients faster than ever before.
Paper and printing reduction and less need for mail and shipping services have vastly improved the overall budgets of healthcare institutions worldwide.
Because electronic signatures have enabled documents to be signed and sent in mere minutes, leading to substantial workflow improvements, there’s a significant reduction in processes being held up by one department or healthcare professional waiting on another. Overall, this means faster patient care and more services provided.
Upgraded Patient Experience
Electronic signatures have offered an essential route for improving the overall patient experience. According to Becker Hospital Review, “Mobile apps and digital communication systems are obvious conduits for improved patient engagement. And, from clerical matters to clinical care, mobile administrative tools can improve the flow of communication and allow clinicians to spend more time with patients.”
While the items listed above are essential modifications provided by electronic signatures seen in the healthcare industry, let’s look specifically at how they’ve improved physicians’ processes and streamlined the completion of doctor’s signatures. After all, in healthcare systems, physicians are responsible for signing and enhancing most of the paperwork associated with patient care.
How the Doctor Signature Process Has Been Improved by Electronic Signing
Electronic signatures have significantly improved the paperwork and documentation processes for physicians. Because so many functions within health systems depend on a doctor’s signature, the continued advancement of techniques available to them is crucial.
Below, we’ll look at some of the crucial ways electronic signatures have added essential value to physicians’ work.
Paper prescriptions can get misplaced, forged, and take too much time to get into the hands of patients in need. With electronic signatures and digital RXs, the process has been streamlined to where doctors can sign off on vital medications, send RXs straight to the pharmacy, and ensure their patients get the drugs they need when they need them.
Chart Notes / Health Records
Chart notes and health records are the backbone of everything that goes on at doctor’s offices, hospitals, and insurance companies. Chart notes record everything reported, done, or occurred in a patient’s health history. Because chart notes are so important, they typically must be signed and approved by a physician. With the introduction of electronic signatures, chart notes can be approved with HIPAA-compliant eSignatures and shared with necessary health teams quicker than ever.
Doctor Signature Legibility
Reduce the trouble experienced reading a doctor’s signature! Physicians have notoriously illegible signatures and handwriting, leading to misreading procedures and prescriptions. Electronic signatures enable physicians to provide more legible and well-documented prescriptions and chart notes, meaning fewer mistakes with patient care.
Patients have experienced improved care with faster and easier procedure approvals. With electronic signatures, physicians, patients, and nurses can approve crucial procedures remotely or at the patient’s bedside.
Enhanced Security and Compliance
Through the use of electronic signatures, physicians can more securely sign and send prescriptions and medical records without the added risk of forgery, theft, loss, or tampering. Using software like Foxit eSign will also provide doctors and healthcare organizations the capability of ensuring HIPAA-compliant eSignatures are obtained.
An inordinate amount of time is wasted by busy physicians writing out paper prescriptions, chasing down patients, and locating chart notes for medical history review and approvals. With electronic signatures and digital documents, physicians can review, send, and approve on the move throughout their busy schedules without missing a beat.
Electronically signed and prescribed medications allow physicians and drug enforcement agencies to monitor subscription histories for certain drugs and work to prevent drug abuse and addiction.
Partnering with an electronic signature solution that understands the needs of physicians and those in healthcare can truly posture your healthcare organization miles ahead of the competition and establish a dedicated and quickly growing customer base like you’ve never seen before.