I think there are certain terms or expressions in our present day tech lexicon that have become undercut because of overuse. To this point, I give you “game changing.” Especially in the technology sphere, we have a tendency to play the “game-changer” card every time there’s a new app, software upgrade or iPhone release. Abuse of the term has watered down its impact and when something really is a game-changer, we automatically approach it with cynicism.

But I will be so bold as to make the argument that for healthcare delivery, the unassuming tablet has become a legitimate game-changer. Tablets, including their collective leader the iPad, have made mobility a reality across the business landscape. And for the healthcare environment—specifically the patient experience—they hold a tremendous amount of potential value and promise.

EMRs and tablets: Not made for each other

Most enterprise-class applications, such as the EMR, are, by default, built for a desktop workstation. Big EMR names do have an iPad user interface, but the functionality is an afterthought. Not to mention, the focus of the EMR applications themselves tend to be clinician-based.

When it comes to forms completion, the user experience must be thought of from the patient perspective just as equally as the clinician use case (if not more so). Because patient forms completion most often happens in the patient registration process or during the care journey at the bedside, mobility and simplicity are key. For this reason, tablet-enabled forms and electronic signatures functionality seems a no-brainer.

Patient forms completion at the bedside proves vexing for inpatient care staff because it involves using a cumbersome workstation on wheels (WoWs) and subjecting the patient to a clunky LCD pad. Not only is the process unwieldy, the electronic signature is captured separately from the form itself—leaving patients to make a leap of faith that their signature is indeed applied to the form they’ve been told.

What if instead, we presented the patient at their bedside with an intuitive experience, supported by full, readable forms and electronic signatures capability right on the tablet? We’re talking a huge step in convenience, compliance and patient peace of mind.

Access introduces eForms Hand-off

At Access, we saw this significant process gap between clinicians and patients, and a bedside tablet-based experience and knew there had to be a better way. So we developed a new patent-pending capability that allows clinician users to easily hand-off an electronic form from their workstation to a tablet with the simple use of a barcode. Here’s how it works:  A barcode presents on the user's workstation screen, the clinician grabs a tablet device and brings up the Access eSignature application, scans the barcode, and the appropriate forms are handed off to that tablet, ready for patient completion. Simple!

Another notable aspect is the ability to stage forms on a nurse's workstation first. The nurse can then walk from the workstation down the hall, grab a tablet, walk into the patient's room, scan the patient's bar-coded wristband at the bedside, and the workstation-staged forms automatically hand-off to the tablet. Another bonus:  Any delinquent forms for a particular patient show up in the forms queue, in addition to the originally staged forms.

As you might guess, we’re very excited about this patent-pending functionality and its future implications in care delivery. We’ve spent years bridging the paper gaps within key administrative and clinical processes, and now we’re also bridging the electronic gaps that bring eForms, eSignatures and your EMR into greater harmony. Some might call that game changing. We’ll let our customers and their patients be the judge.


Cody Strate

Written by 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.