Many healthcare organizations struggle with managing paper records — particularly for informed consent. Electronic consent solutions offer a better way.
If you were asked to choose between filling out an informed consent document either on paper or online, you’d likely choose the latter. After all, electronic forms are simpler, more convenient, and more reliable than their paper counterparts. But for many healthcare organizations, paper processes remain in place despite the associated risks of waste, lost documents, and human error.
With electronic health solutions rapidly becoming the norm, healthcare organizations have found that moving from paper to electronic informed consent makes a huge difference in their work. It not only reduces the risk of human error, but it also helps improve efficiency. As a result, a digital approach gives healthcare professionals the ability to focus on what matters most: care.
A Farewell to Paper Forms
Even though most healthcare organizations started using electronic health records (EHRs) more than a decade ago, many still rely on paper documents for their workflows — particularly when obtaining informed consent. Despite consistently using paper documents, most healthcare organizations aren’t happy with the process.
Paperwork burdens are one of the leading causes of burnout among clinicians. Nearly half of all clinicians suffer from burnout regularly because paper processes create unnecessary work and require attention that could be focused elsewhere. It also creates a variety of communication inefficiencies that can be costly for healthcare organizations.
Thankfully, there is some good news: With the right partner and an electronic consent solution that integrates with your EHR to collect informed consent documents digitally, you can significantly improve the way your organization operates. With a digital-first approach, team members can easily assign the right forms and deliver them to the right patients on any device of their choosing. Fields are automatically filled in with relevant demographic information, minimizing the chance of incorrect information being entered. Documents are far less likely to go missing, and everyone saves time — all of which can make a huge difference when it comes to burnout.
This might sound overly optimistic for something as simple as switching away from paper for informed consent forms and other medical documents, but it’s the truth. Think of it this way: You might only save 10 minutes per patient by following a digital-first approach in the process of obtaining informed consent. That may not sound like much when you view it as only one interaction, but informed consent is part of every single procedure a hospital performs. Subtract 10 minutes from each of your daily procedures, and you’ll quickly see how electronic informed consent enables you to devote significantly more time to other work.
That kind of added efficiency could make transformative workflow improvements in your organization. By eliminating paper-based workflows and switching to electronic informed consent, you can create a more efficient and accurate care experience with the added benefit of reducing burnout in healthcare professionals.
For many healthcare workers, these extra minutes in a day are priceless. Team members will be able to shift to more patient-centric activities: the reason healthcare workers got into the field in the first place.
It’s time to embrace the future of healthcare and say goodbye to managing paper records for informed consent. To learn more about our electronic informed consent solution, download our whitepaper on the topic.