eSignature for Informed Consent: It’s a Numbers Game

    

Much of the country is focused on college hoops right now with player stats like turnovers, points-per-game and rebounds dominating office and break-room conversations everywhere.

That had me thinking about our own industry stats. For example, in the following scenario it’s easy to see the financial and environmental returns of using patient electronic forms at Registration:

  • A hospital sees 100,000 patients a year between the Emergency department and the inpatient setting
  • Each patient electronically signs four or five hospital forms at Registration
  • The eSignature solution eliminates 400,000 to 500,000 pieces of paper annually. This doesn’t take into account the number of sticky labels that are saved. Plus a better patient experience counts for something, too!

It’s an ROI layup, right? Cost savings found by reducing paper and labels is about as straightforward as it gets – especially in health care!

More of our customers are implementing patient electronic signature solutions to solve the paper-based Informed Consent problem. Naturally, they want to see the ROI of going paperless – but paperless Informed Consents are a different ROI game than the consents at Registration.

So, what should be your ROI strategy for a paperless Informed Consent?  We’ve got what you’re looking for when it comes to a “common-sense” game plan. Here’s a scorecard to help:

14 percent
A JAMA study found that 14 percent of all surgical procedures are delayed because of missing paper Informed Consents.

22 minutes
In those 14 percent of cases, clinicians spent an average of 22 minutes – or more than one-third of an hour – searching for missing patient paperwork or obtaining new Informed Consents for patients.

$60 - $120 per minute
Depending on the complexity of the procedure, the cost of a lost minute can range from $60 to $120 every 60 seconds.

Nearly $2 million
Based on the above stats, a hospital that does 10,000 surgical procedures a year will likely see more than 1,400 delays from missing patient paperwork. Those delays translate to an OR deficit of 32,120 minutes each year.

At $60 a minute, that’s a loss of $1.93 million in one of the most expensive areas of the hospital.

A hospital could lose nearly $2 million a year essentially because of a paper chase. But what should really make you cry “foul” is that these stats reflect the implications of just a single delayed surgical procedure.

Anyone who works in Surgical Services knows that one delayed procedure has a costly ripple effect on those that follow. The effect is especially expensive and inefficient when it occurs with first-of-the-day procedures, as you spend the rest of the day playing catch up.

The winning tip
If you’re justifying an eSignature solution for Informed Consents, don’t rely on the game plan used at Registration. Improving OR on-time rates is the key to finding savings with paperless Informed Consents. It’s about reducing delays and their costly impact on one of the highest revenue-generating – and most expensive – areas in any hospital. 

Play the role of a financial coach. Show how your hospital will save time and money, and demonstrate how the technology will prevent surgical delays while boosting patient and clinician satisfaction.

With that approach, your hospital will soon be driving efficiencies like the best players drive the lane.

 

About The Author - Cody Strate

For more than 10 years, Cody has helped healthcare organizations worldwide eliminate the costs and risks of paper through e-forms and e-signature solutions. In addition to helping others achieve their paperless goals, Cody finds time to put his biochemistry degree to work in the kitchen testing out new recipes on his unsuspecting family.

Feel free to email me here.