How to Optimize Patient Engagement During a Crisis (and Beyond)
According to CDC numbers, an estimated 41% of U.S. adults had delayed or avoided medical care in the first half of 2020. As the COVID-19 crisis unfolded—and concepts like “touch-free” increasingly permeated the healthcare world—providers everywhere scrambled to continue providing adequate care. Many ramped up telemedicine services. Many more, like pediatric medical group Trusted Doctors, embraced digital tools like DocuSign to limit exposure risk and keep the patient-provider experience focused on care versus sifting through paperwork.
Here are three ways Virginia-based Trusted Doctors was able to keep operations running smoothly while reaping the benefits of paperless processes.
Digitize intake and consent forms to elevate the patient-provider experience
When it became clear that COVID-19 was stretching well into flu season, Trusted Doctors was pressed to rethink the structure of its annual vaccination clinic. With virus apprehension and social distancing guidelines still very much in play, the medical group decided to launch an outdoor, drive-through version of its clinic across over a dozen practices. Working with DocuSign Professional Services, Trusted Doctors designed a digital workflow leveraging eSignature—and the team had a solution up and running in less than two weeks.
Trusted Doctors promoted the clinic via a mass email that went out to its entire patient population. Interested patients’ contact details were gathered through a web survey form, exported into a spreadsheet and uploaded into DocuSign. The appropriate document envelopes were generated and sent out to patients via DocuSign’s bulk send feature.
The entire process took about 15 minutes. Trusted Doctors was able to minimize COVID exposure risk and streamline clinic flows while giving patients the flexibility to complete the necessary paperwork ahead of their visit, on their own time, and through the device of their choice. At the clinics, providers needed only to verify the identity of the patients and provide the vaccines. It was such a success, the medical group also used DocuSign for its COVID testing and vaccination clinics.
Seamlessly integrate eSignature workflows into the EHR
While eSignature provided an easy way for Trusted Doctors to digitally attain paperwork and signatures, the medical group streamlined the process even further by automating the connection between DocuSign and its EHR via Kno2, a DocuSign partner that offers Interoperability as a Service for the healthcare industry.
Under this new process, the signature workflow still happens entirely within DocuSign’s secure platform—and, upon completion, the Kno2 Connector automates the delivery of signed documents to Trusted Doctors’ EHR (eClinicalWorks).
Completed documents can be automatically sent directly to a patient’s chart in the EHR (through Patient ID match or an integrated patient lookup in Kno2), though Trusted Doctors added a step for manual review. The completely paperless process goes as follows:
- DocuSign receives the completed documents and automatically hands them off to Kno2.
- Kno2 uses the EHR’s secure P2P (provider-to-provider) messaging tool to upload the completed documents directly into a designated user account.
- Documents received in the special P2P inbox are assigned to the correct provider within the EHR.
By digitizing processes, Trusted Doctors was able to create the type of modern, seamless user experience that patients expect. Beyond reducing the time it takes to capture required information and signatures, going paperless also helped Trusted Doctors improve patient outreach. As part of its end-to-end workflow, the medical group stayed connected to patients before and between visits through automated appointment reminders sent right to their text inbox.
As the world starts to open again, Trusted Doctors sees DocuSign having a greater role in its new normal. Part of that vision includes using eSignature workflows for all in-office visits.
“We’ve always been looking for ways to push information to our patients prior to their appointments and go more paperless...You save time for yourself and the patient. You can't put a price on the convenience," said Murphy.