Introduction

In the last year and a half many hospitals have adapted to patient access in the literal sense, and adopted newer technologies to provide alternative ways for patients to access & receive care.

As a result, the industry has seen a tremendous surge in the use of digital technologies such as telehealth to increase access to care, with remote patient eSignature technologies to control throughput allowing hospitals to safely capture and automatically index patient information through automation. Many hospitals, with the onset of Covid-19, were rushed into adopted ill-equipped "one-dimensional" patient eSignature technologies that did not meet their expectations, and as result did not have a positive impact on patients.

In our Monthly Healthcare Poll, we asked our audience, healthcare professionals like yourself, "Can your patients complete forms on their own device & what's the impact?" Now, let's look at what we discovered...

 

An Honest Path of Discovery Starting with a Poll

To help us answer this question, we recently conducted an informal healthcare peer opinion poll focusing on the adoption of Contactless eSignature for patients.

The question was simple and straightforward: “Can your patients complete forms on their own device & what's the impact?” We received great feedback from healthcare professionals in the US and found the results to be unsurprising, which you can find the details in, below.  

Healthcare Poll Overall Results Contactless eSignature-1

Of the responses we received,  less than 15% of participants stated they were not seeking a remote patient eSignature solution. Though this poll does not give an explanation as to why, contactless patient eSignature for some hospitals isn't necessary as it is not always feasible sometimes due to facility size, location or patient volume. Additionally, the poll results suggest some difficulty with Contactless Patient eSignature. 14.3% of the healthcare respondents stated "patients" struggle with the eSignature technology, versus the 35.7% that their technology does not perform well, and again this is not surprising.

In recent months, providing contactless eSignature options to patients has been on the rise as hospitals rely on patient revenue, and patient forms are at the forefront of that patient communication. With the concerns over the spread of Covid-19, many hospitals understandably expedited contactless Patient eSignature projects in an attempt to eliminate paper forms and increase access for patients for a virtual care visits, or to allow patients options to complete forms at home prior to an in person visit. The problem is, many of these hospitals were left contracted with a one-dimensional patient eSignature solution and severe limitations. Frusterated Clinician ITOver time these limitations become costly and an evolving nightmare to manage. What we often find is that hospitals are forced to deal with multiple vendors, each handling a different need, because what they originally purchased in haste was not what they entirely needed. After the onset of involving resources for implementation, training, and gaining buy-in from key players for the initial project, switching to a different vendor isn't exactly an easy option. So what do many hospitals do? They continue fill in the GAPS with more vendors to manage.

But, wouldn't it be easier if you had a fully customizable patient eSignature solution that would work for any department, any connected facility, any device - even patient devices outside of the hospital? Wouldn't it be great if there was a solution that you knew you could depend on for all of your specific healthcare form needs?

Purpose Built Patient eSignature

For 20 years Access eForms has been on the leading edge of patient eSignature technology, so we know a thing or two when it comes to implementing a successful patient eSignature project. We know that patient eSignature doesn't end with eliminating a paper process in registration. In fact, our greatest revenue savings opportunity for hospitals lies within other departments like Surgical Services or Radiology where a lost consent can become a costly delay, or missing information can put your hospital and patients at risk. Update Hundreds of Hospital Forms DigitallyWith Access' eSignature Platform powered by 3D eConsent technology, clinicians can automatically leverage customizable peer reviewed consent content, ensure all required fields are complete, and keep surgeries on time. In fact, according to JAMA, a massive 14% of hospitals delayed procedures are due to missing paper consents. To understand this enormous cost, take a 200 bed facility who is performing 10K surgeries per year. If this hospital was to adopt Access's eSignature Platform, after the first year, they would expect a return of $1,050,000 EACH YEAR. And, this does not include the additional $100,000 of recouped savings with eSignature for patient Registration.

Were you Surprised that User Adoption was not the leading issue?

14.3% of the responses said "yes, patients struggle with eSignature" compared to 35.7% stating "Yes, eSignature Does Not Perform Well". Patient eSignature technology & user adoption has long been a challenge for hospitals as there is a bit of a learning curve for patients. However, this data seems to suggest that user adoption is not the leading struggle, as it once was. While we do not know the exact reason, it's easy to consider what we know; patient eSignature adoption for groups of people, such as the elderly, who may not be as equipped to embrace mobile technology, and may struggle. But, it is getting past these learning curve's where adoption increases and hospitals are succeeding; and we're seeing across the board. As patient eSignature solutions and contactless eSignature become more of the norm, users are learning and adapting. Additionally, Hospitals and Health Systems new to the technology are constantly evolving their best practices for digital communication as a user-centered approach to meet patients where they are. For instance in our recent how to blog Best Practices for Healthcare form design, Jenni Mihm of Parkview Medical commented,

"If a form(electronic form) is hard to use, the end-user will not use it correctly, or worse, they will just abandon it altogether. I have had that happen, and I have learned in my time here that if there are things that I did not think of, the users will simply abandon it and go back to paper. It's very frustrating to watch, but also important lessons to learn. Furthermore, if the form is hard to use, the patient might not use it and lose confidence in the facility, and this can negatively impact the hospital’s HCAHPS Patient Satisfaction scores. However, a highly intelligent form that is properly designed from launch to completion, can speed up the process and make the end-user and for a patient or staff interaction with that form a positive experience."

Conclusion 

With many hospitals adopting newer technologies to provide alternative ways for patients to access and receive care, the industry has seen a tremendous surge in the use of digital technologies such as telehealth. User adoption is up, however according to our poll, hospitals struggle with a need for third-party vendors and some learning curves when it comes to implementing these new systems. In response, many institutions have tried to adopted patient eSignature technology that allows them to safely capture and automatically index patient information through automation, but what they were left with is a solution that is not specific to healthcare, and requires a multitude of vendors to fill in "GAPS." Using an experienced healthcare specific eSignature partner like Access eForms and with a hospital focused on a patient-centric approach to communication, healthcare leaders are making a better decision for their future, and have the ability to customize a solution specific to their hospitals needs.

Does your eSignature vendor limit you? Let us know below...

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Anthony Delabano

Written by Anthony Delabano

With an unparalleled resourceful and systematic approach, Anthony Delabano (A-Train) continually innovates to bridge the gap between marketing and sales. In his free time, Anthony dedicates his passion driven ingenuity to his nonprofit, Foundation45, which gives hundreds of musicians and artists each year, a second chance at life through 100% free counseling services.