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Introduction

The purpose of this guide is to educate electronic signature technology buyers about the key factors they should consider when researching potential vendors and solutions. Even though electronic signatures have far-reaching applications across a healthcare organization, which will be touched on in the Solution Flexibility + Scalability section, this guide’s primary scope is to discuss the collection of patient signatures on forms in registration, at the bedside and beyond.

Why you ask? Because our research has shown that capturing patient signatures electronically, thereby eliminating the comparable paper-based process, is the fastest way for hospitals to reduce costs and errors, save providers time and wasted work, and improve patient care and service.

At Halifax Health, for example, electronic signature software eliminates almost a million pieces of paper each year and reduced registration time by 30 percent. By converting a printed patient consent form into a 100 percent electronic one, Hilo Medical Center saves $228,375 annually. Greater Baltimore Medical Center deployed a paperless registration and bedside consent process to enhance the patient experience and save staff 455 work days a year.

Our perspective is that hospitals should only invest in a technology that generates returns on that investment as quickly as possible—in addition to less quantifiable benefits like enhancing the relationship between providers and patients, eliminating tedious tasks, and boosting staff morale. That may seem obvious, but if the considerations outlined in this guide are not addressed satisfactorily by whichever vendor or solution is selected, achieving maximum results will be difficult and costly.

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