Scriptel Devices Eliminate Workaround to Shave 10 Minutes Per Patient Consent
The providers at Boice-Willis Clinic adore their eClinicalWorks EHR, but with 67 of them in seven locations and 10 practice areas, fast electronic consent signing is critical to the organization's efficiency. So it was a major goal of IT Director Matt Reams to eliminate the workaround for e-signatures his team had been forced into.
The problem was an incompatibility between eClinicalWorks (eCW) and the signature pads the Rocky Mount, NC-based organization had purchased a few years prior.
eCW 11e, the browser-based version of the EHR used at most of the multi-specialty clinic's registration desks didn't recognize the previous pads being used, so the IT team utilized an enterprise content management system called Laserfiche as an intermediary. Patient consent forms were accessed through this software, and patients signed using the signature pads. The e-signature was stored in Laserfiche and sent to the medical records fax inbox. One of the health information management (HIM) staff had to then manually move it from the inbox into the patient document.
Complete Compatibility, Plus Plug-and-Play
Today, Boice-Willis has a new system using Scriptel ST1476 signature pads that's saving HIM at least 10 minutes on every signed consent, and they process what Reams calls a "significant number" of forms per day.
Knowing that every front desk in the organization used the browser version of eCW which was incompatible with the old devices, Reams and his EMR manager searched eCW user forums for possible solutions. Upon seeing that multiple organizations had successfully changed to Scriptel signature pads, Reams ordered a unit to test.
The test showed that not only are the Scriptel devices compatible with all versions of eCW, they're completely plug-and-play, not even requiring a driver download.
Boice-Willis now has 50 Scriptel devices deployed and recently purchased eight more to complete the changeover. By eliminating the Laserfiche workaround (Laserfiche still being used for other functions), the team saved about five minutes at patient check in and five minutes on the back end. The clinic's consent forms are now built in eCliniForms, and when the patient signs the form using the Scriptel signature pad, it flows directly into the patient's electronic medical record.
"Our medical records department is already overwhelmed with faxes every day, so we improved our efficiency in that area a lot," says Reams. "They no longer have to handle consents at all, which significantly reduces our workflow."
Less Paper, More Savings
The Center for American Progress estimates that 14% of all US healthcare expenditures are administrative, and McKinsey Global Institute says more than $90 billion is spent on inefficient and redundant administrative practices in healthcare per year.
It's difficult to imagine a more wasteful practice than printing a form (especially a multi-page one) for the sole purpose of getting a signature. This is especially true of healthcare organizations that are using an EHR to reduce paper and ensure a complete, clinician-accessible patient record.
Electronic signature pads check all the boxes when it comes to saving money and reducing paper waste, allowing hospitals to purchase fewer printers and less paper and toner while saving clerical staff considerable time waiting for documents to print and filing or scanning them once signed.