Confessions of a Paper Lover: How Electronic Signatures Converted Me
Posted on June 1, 2020 by Holly Jensen
The Paper Lover in Me
I love paper, and the idea of going paperless, let alone using electronic signatures for practice management, simply seemed too daunting. Making to-do lists and having that satisfaction of crossing items off those lists was what I was about. I love being able to have whatever I am working on physically in front of me so I can highlight, cross things out, and make notes in the margins. Sometimes, I also spill coffee on it or have the dogs eat it, but that’s beside the point. You get the picture– I’m old school and I love paper!
However, I have found something in practice that is not always the best solution when it comes to paperwork for our patients. In fact, as much as I love paper, I have found that I LOVE going paperless in practice. This is all because of the automation of our procedures and the ability for our patients to use electronic signatures, care plan agreements, payment authorizations, etc.
Converting to Paperless and Electronic Signatures
Gone are the days of having a patient pull out their wallet to charge their card, print their receipt, get a signature, and have a copy for both parties. Gone are the days of printing multiple copies of care plans and payment authorizations to be reviewed, signed.
In both of these situations, this requires either storing the paperwork for several years in a HIPAA compliant manner or scanning it back into your computer software and shredding that physical copy! It makes a simple task very cumbersome.
This is why when I experienced a paperless environment I was open, ready, and willing to change! Not only did I discover new technologies, I learned a lot about how implementing technology would free up time and would ultimately benefit the practice’s organizational structure.
Four Things That Really Stuck Out At Me
- Going green helps the environment and saves money. Paper, printers, and ink are not cheap. Plus, it’s just one more thing to have to reorder, go to the store for, and pay for. This all adds up over time, but going paperless and implementing electronic signatures on patient documents has this problem solved!
- There’s a higher level of security with electronic signatures. For example, in the Cash Practice software, you have the ability to capture a digital e-signature on Care Plans, Auto-Debit Payment Authorizations, and individual transaction receipts. The documents and electronic signatures are stored in the cloud and can be accessed at any time.
- Going paperless saves physical space. I don’t know about you, but back in the day, we had patient charts that we couldn’t get rid of yet they took up an entire storage area in our office. We had x-rays that I still have paper cuts from that were filed in the back of the office. Going digital with things like this free up so much storage space around the office! You may even have a physical storage unit to keep all these physical paperwork and documents. Why not free up space and save some money?!
- Saves you time. This is perhaps one of the most valuable assets we have in the office for the doctor and staff. The amount of time wasted by standing at the printer/scanner and moving to the proper folder or digital patient account is a big time-waster. Each and every print, scan, and file task is probably small, but that is valuable time you can be spending on patient care, education, or the other many tasks you have… all those minutes add up!
Ideally, the majority of your patients are on some type of care plan with monthly auto-debits, which allows you to maximize patient loyalty. How? Loyal patients need a game plan and they need convenience, ease, and frictionless payment experiences. Going paperless not only frees up more time in practice to focus on the patient’s experience but the long term impact on their loyalty to you.
Have I convinced you?
Originally featured by ChiroHealthUSA in June 2020.
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