It has been roughly a decade since it became necessary for healthcare providers to have electronic medical records for their patients. Since then, the industry has continued to use technology to optimize processes.
Relative to other industries, this progress has been somewhat slow — especially when it comes to paperwork. Even today, 41% of care providers still use pens and paper for the registration process — and patients sometimes have to deal with 20 sheets of paper per visit even though digital solutions are available.
This might not sound like a significant problem, but the burden of paper processes adds up in a hurry. Up to a quarter of a nurse’s time is spent dealing with paperwork, and of the nearly 50% of clinicians who reported feeling regularly burned out, the burden of paperwork was cited as the leading cause. The financial cost is also high in terms of materials and fines: In 2019, 12% of HIPAA violations stemmed from issues with paper records.
The Shift to Digital
Healthcare organizations can benefit significantly by making the shift to digital forms. A key part of making this change is adopting eSignature solutions.
Our eSignature platform provides a more secure and efficient way to obtain patient signatures and complements existing technological tools. eSignature solutions make electronic forms management easier by making that final piece of the process — the patient signature — digital.
Ultimately, it moves processes that still use paper, such as patient intake and informed consent, into the modern age.
Electronic Forms and eSignature in Healthcare and Digital Transformation
Digital transformation isn’t about embracing technology for the sake of following the latest trends. It’s about practical, on-the-ground improvements. With that in mind, let’s look at three ways Interlace Health’s digital solutions, featuring eSignature capabilities, improve healthcare operations:
1. Saved time
When Singing River Health System moved away from paper processes and instead used Interlace Health’s Informed Consent solution for electronic forms management, they did so primarily because they were tired of spending so much time fixing mistakes that a digital system could have prevented. This coincided with an overall lack of consistency in a paper approach that made it difficult to standardize processes.
By implementing our solutions, Singing River Health System saved about 500 hours a year because staff members no longer had to prep and scan forms into the electronic system. They no longer had to worry about issues like incomplete forms, illegible handwriting, and misplaced forms, which meant healthcare workers were given back weeks of time that they could now focus on care.
2. Increased savings
Time isn’t the only thing saved. When King’s Daughters Medical Center (KDMC) in Brookhaven, Mississippi, transitioned from paper forms to digital, the organization reduced the number of forms it relied on from 2,500 to 1,000 — a decrease of 60%.
By getting rid of paper, KDMC was also able to drastically reduce money spent on paper, toner, and file storage. This allowed them to avoid the risk of costly fines and delays caused by lost or incomplete paperwork.
Perhaps best of all, clinicians and patients benefitted from a more streamlined and efficient process. This move away from paper helped reduce burnout in healthcare professionals and resulted in more time for meaningful interactions with patients.
3. Better support
When something goes wrong with a process related to a paper form, there isn’t an easy button to fix the problem. With electronic forms management — and the right partner providing it — support is only a click or phone call away.
At Interlace Health, we stick with our customers every step of the way, staying proactive and acting as an extension of your organization’s team. We check in regularly and offer to help with software updates and optimizations. We also provide ongoing educational opportunities for clients, including our annual customer summit and an online portal where healthcare providers can access helpful tutorials and answers to common questions.
Healthcare and digital transformation haven’t always gone hand in hand. It can be difficult and overwhelming to change established processes, but technology has the power to truly make a positive difference in any healthcare organization that is ready for change.
Interlace Health offers a comprehensive platform of digital solutions designed to help you transform your organization for the modern age. We’re already at work helping more than 1,100 organizations improve their operations. Contact us today to learn how we can help you!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Over the past five years, Lauren Ziegler has been a member of Interlace Health’s Marketing team, coordinating and executing marketing communication initiatives, such as copywriting and content management, public and media relations, social media, and corporate communications. She has over a decade of experience in working with technology companies. Lauren is passionate about helping the healthcare community understand Interlace’s Health’s value, vision, and commitment to improving experiences for providers, patients, and staff.