Seth Jeremy Katz, Associate Chief Information Officer, Truman Medical Centers
More than ever, patient safety initiatives are on the rise in health care organizations. By understanding the risks patients face, we know that physical and financialsafety starts before providers see a patient. Accurate patient identification, and compliant and legible documentation, can help improve efficiency of the registration process while supporting patient safety and protecting your organization’s revenue cycle. Patient electronic signature capture is a healthcare trend that can directly support these types of outcomes. When a patient electronic signature solution is integrated with the electronic health record (EHR), it is more than just a signature on a form; it’s an opportunity to automate and streamline workflows from check-in through discharge.
The right electronic signature capture solution makes an impact in patient care by queuing patient and encounter specific forms with applicable procedures or content, helping to ensure that not only are all required documents captured in a timely manner, but that a patient only has to complete each document once with no risk of that form being lost or illegible. Furthermore, these types of solutions can improve patient satisfaction by their ease of use with familiar technology and easy access when integrated with organizations’ portal solutions.
Accurate patient identification, and compliant and legible documentation, can help improve efficiency of the registration process
I have the privilege of working for Truman Medical Centers (TMC), an academic medical center, as well as Kansas City’s essential hospital which, as the region’s safety net organization, is expected to provide nearly $150 million in uncompensated care this year. Given that mission, it’s imperative that our medical center focus on innovation solutions like electronic signature to drive efficient and quality care for our patients.
Today, TMC has more than 160 devices deployed across 57 clinics which allow patients to complete and sign documents electronically. We’ve built more than 300 forms for registration and clinical staff to use: from check-in documents to surgical consents, we’re committed to removing as much paper and waste out of healthcare as we can.
In just the few short years since we implemented an electronic signature solution, TMC has seen tremendous, measurable benefits including:
• A significant decrease in denials for lost paperwork
• Saving nearly $35,000 annually in paper form costs
• Increased patient satisfaction due to not having to sign the same form over and over again;
• Allowing technology to drive what needs to be signed at the precise time
Our clinical staff members continue to ask for additional forms and devices because they see the benefits that could be realized in allowing the technology to directly save information into the EHR without worrying about losing important data or waiting for scanned documents.
Moving away from paper is a key strategy in making care more efficient. The demand for this kind of solution is growing amongst our clinical teams who want to push the technology beyond its perceived limits to improve their workflows, while supporting a better patient experience. We feel we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of the power that electronic signature holds and look forward to what the future brings.