by Phil Sullivan
The Paperless Office
While detractors have derailed the idea as impossible, dbtech has always chased the promise of the paperless office. We believe this progression is not only possible, but that it can be achieved by eliminating paper with technology and workflow redesigns that fit patient expectations.
Dbtech’s newest enhancements, eForms Interactive Forms and Signature Capture provide significant steps towards creating a paperless office, eliminating the expenses and inefficiencies of paper forms, while expanding your options for collecting structured data.
Until now, paper-based waivers and releases were signed by patients at registration. These forms come from a desk drawer or are printed on-demand through the eForms module. Either way, the patient still picks up a pen, signs a document, then returns it to the registrar for scanning into a document imaging platform (hopefully Rasi!).
Today, many hospitals are moving from this workflow towards ones that eliminate paper and provide an experience patients are well familiar with in other industries. Whether at the pharmacy, a local bank or a favorite automobile repair shop, consumers have grown accustomed to signing documents electronically. Many now even perceive ink-to-paper signatures as antiquated – and a sign of a technologically-stunted business.
Using Interactive eForms
When you pair a Topaz signature device with Interactive eForms and Signature Capture software, ink or wet signatures are eliminated, paper is removed and processes move smoothly.
And, the benefits do not end at registration. Throughout your facility, Interactive Forms eliminates inefficient paper forms while allowing you to leverage form data in new ways. For instance, many hospitals routinely utilize Case Managers and Financial Councilors to assist patients with financial aid through charity care programs. These programs often require multiple forms with data existing nowhere else in their information systems. With Interactive eForms, these paper forms are eliminated, inputs are validated, and form data is repurposed in XML format.
Interactive eForms & The Home Health Worker
When we began designing Interactive eForms, the initial goal was to address a home health workers’ need to collect data while in the field – specifically at the patient’s home. Using Rasi and eForms, we developed a workflow where interactive patient forms are emailed to homecare nurses. The nurse simply opens and completes forms at the patient’s home. Once the nurse reconnects to the internet, the form, and its data, is transmitted. This workflow modification saves days of work by eliminating the process of printing, writing and faxing forms between central offices and the homecare nurse.
Throughout the process, our development team focused on creating an interactive forms environment where data would be actionable, validated and used by any user without incremental cost. The forms had to be easy to create using a toolkit with which many IT analysts were already familiar. Thus, we selected Adobe Acrobat and PDF (the most widely-accepted and platform-agnostic file type in the healthcare industry) for creating and delivering forms.