87%decrease in patient intake time
30%reduction in paper-related supply costs per month
A widely-respected clinic with facilities throughout North Carolina, Asheville Ear Nose & Throat (AENT) is committed to providing all patients with respectful, high-quality medical care. To the end, the clinic is constantly looking for ways to use technology to improve their operations and make changes that benefit both their employees and patients. In doing so, AENT identified one critical area for improvement: their paper-based processes for patient onboarding. In order to receive medical care, a patient had to spend up to 15 minutes manually completing these documents, and then wait for an employee to review, scan and attach them to their existing medical record.
AENT adopted DocuSign for eSignature to digitize and automate the patient forms, using electronic signatures to save the clinic time and money by streamlining their operations, eliminating errors, and improving the patient experience.
Losing time and efficiency with paper-based patient forms
Prior to using DocuSign for eSignature, AENT patients were asked to manually fill out several documents before receiving treatment, including forms for HIPAA consent for treatment, insurance authorization, and patient practices & policies. The process of filling out these forms took patients up to 15 minutes, and then even more time for staff to make copies, re-key data, scan, and then attach the forms as PDFs to the patient’s medical record.
Not only were these workflows time-consuming, but they were error-prone as well. Patients would often miss a field on a form, or staff would accidentally re-key data incorrectly, or attach a PDF to the wrong patient’s chart. These kinds of mistakes were hard to catch, and took a lot of time and effort from AENT employees to fix.
AENT’s paper-based processes were costly as well. After a patient filled out the necessary forms and employees replicated and scanned their responses into PDF versions, the original copies were disposed of via a shredding company. “We had at least two staff members touch each form and three entities for proper disposal,” said Sam Clark, IT Manager for Asheville Ear Nose & Throat. “And shredding paper is not as cheap as you might think.”
Adding efficiency and improving the patient experience with DocuSign
AENT saw an opportunity to improve the patient forms process with electronic signatures. After looking at several vendors and in-house solutions, Clark chose DocuSign for Patients, a patient on-boarding solution developed in partnership with Kryptiq, to digitize their workflow. With the new solution, AENT reduced its three check-in documents into a single form that patients can fill in and electronically sign using an iPad in the clinic’s waiting room.
With DocuSign for Patients, it now takes AENT’s patients just two minutes, rather than 15, to fill out all of the necessary consent and waiver forms. And through the efficiencies created by the solution, AENT has saved the equivalent of one full-time employee’s time. The clinic’s paper-related supply costs have plummeted as well, falling by 30% per month.
Since DocuSign for Patients integrates seamlessly with AENT’s existing electronic medical records system, the data from each form is immediately inputted into a patient’s medical records, eliminating the manual steps and errors that once slowed the process. If a patient forgets to fill out a field, the digital form will require it be completed before the form is finalized. “There is no possibility of a patient forgetting to date or properly sign a document,” explained Clark.
According to Clark, the DocuSign for Patients rollout has been well received by its staff, so much so that AENT is planning to expand its implementation and begin using DocuSign for Patients for clinical observation data. “That will let us replace every form of paper to take our entire practice 100% digital with DocuSign,” he explained. “Using DocuSign across our practice will save us money, eliminate data entry by our staff, and create a great patient experience.”
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