Digitizing the Patient Consent Experience with E-Signature

The general and informed consent processes are critical aspects of patient care. General consent for care and treatment forms, in particular, are ubiquitous throughout the patient journey. But at many organizations, consent forms are still paper based, leading to a number of costly manual processes. 

Paper-based patient intake and general consent forms require printing and scanning, leading to high administrative expenses. Likewise, paper-based informed consent forms often pose organizational risk because they are easily lost, unauditable and difficult to find once stored. This stat from a 2020 DocuSign survey highlights the stark realities that healthcare professionals are contending with in a sector heavily reliant on compliance: 

63% of providers say their consent process contains risk due to poor document storage and retrieval capabilities. 

Here’s where e-signature technology comes in. By implementing e-signature solutions beyond those offered in the EHR, healthcare organizations are unlocking pivotal benefits like risk mitigation and reduced costs. E-signature solutions streamline the entire consent process, from preparing and signing forms to compiling and storage.

In this blog, we share how three very different healthcare providers elevated their patient experience with digital consent forms, automatic form storage and easy retrieval—all made possible by DocuSign eSignature

Leveraging eSignature integrations for faster growth: MIMIT Health

At MIMIT Health, an Illinois-based multispecialty group that assists people dealing with acute and chronic illnesses, paper-based processes were causing data silos, which impeded efficiency and organizational growth. To create a new digital process for patient intake and consent, the group turned to DocuSign eSignature. 

By integrating eSignature with Salesforce Health Cloud and Box, MIMT was able to create an automated patient consent and intake process. A modern patient process has allowed this 12-location provider to further grow their operations—from expanding their telehealth offerings to treating more patients—while simultaneously decreasing labor costs by 35%. The process has also led to a 20% increase in revenue and 50% increase in security assurance, dramatically reducing the organizational risk that resulted from paper intake and consent processes and allowing more resources to go toward patient care.  

Staying compliant while gaining consent: Heart-Centered Counseling (HCC)

In early 2020, the Colorado-based mental health institution Heart-Centered Counseling  (now LifeStance Health) was seeking a HIPAA-compliant signature platform to help patients complete forms, correctly and on time. When the pandemic forced a transition from in-person visits to teletherapy early in their search, the organization adopted DocuSign eSignature due its robust remote capabilities. 

HCC wasted no time rolling out eSignature throughout their institution. In the first 60 days of using it, they brought on over 200 providers, sent over 6,000 digital envelopes and created eight templates. All documents were signed in full compliance with HIPAA standards, meeting the provider's initial compliance goal. 

Easing administrative burdens: Trusted Doctors 

Trusted Doctors is one of Virginia's largest and most acclaimed pediatric medical groups, but when the pandemic hit in spring 2020, they needed to quickly pivot to meet new health and safety best practices. With office visits curtailed, the group opened drive-through flu vaccination clinics throughout their area. It was readily apparent that for these clinics to manage the workflow, the group would need a digital agreement solution for consent forms so patients could easily sign before receiving their immunization.   

In less than two weeks, Trusted Doctors implemented DocuSign eSignature, which allowed patients to provide their consent digitally. Once signed, completed packets were automatically uploaded to Trusted Doctor’s EHR, eClinicalWorks. Received documents could be assigned to the correct practice within the group with just a few clicks in the EHR, saving administrators valuable time—and reducing unnecessary social contact.  

Reimagining the patient experience with e-signature technology  

As the healthcare industry finds new ways to provide better service to patients while meeting regulatory measures, e-signature will only grow in applications.

87% of healthcare providers already believe e-signature is critical to the completion and signing of patient consent forms, but it's expected that 93% will share that sentiment in the near future.

Now is the perfect time to rethink your organization’s manual processes and find better ways to speed consent and intake workflows, manage compliance and optimize processes.

If you’d like more information on the role digital technologies will play in the healthcare industry, including additional healthcare customer stories involving e-signature, read the full white paper, The Time Has Come to Reinvent the Patient Experience with E-signature.