Formstack Blog

Using Mobile Healthcare for Informed Consent Forms: Expediting Care at the Bedside

In the shift to value-based care, mobile healthcare is one of your most powerful tools. More than three-quarters of Americans now own smartphones, and most of them rely on mobile health apps to manage personal health issues and conditions.

In other words…

Patients don’t just want mobile healthcare solutions from providers. They expect it. That means enabling them to provide all documentation digitally—informed consent included.

What Is Informed Consent in Today’s Healthcare Landscape?

Many providers continue to take a paper-based approach to informed consent forms:

A patient is about to undergo a specific procedure, but before preparations can begin, the individual must sign off on a bevy of information involving rights, benefits, and potential risks associated with the treatment plan.

So the patient is handed a pen.

A series of paper forms are presented, and the patient is instructed to sign on the lines. Questions are answered, signatures are collected, and the care team moves forward with treatment.

This process for collecting signatures seems simple enough, but in fact, this is a step where things can often go wrong.

Proper documentation is critical, and not just to ensure patients are educated and fully engaged in their healthcare plans. Without a reliable system for storing, tracking, and managing informed consent forms, the risks of litigation and HIPAA violations—not to mention delays in treatment—are likely to increase.

What’s Wrong with Your Current Informed Consent Process?

Using paper forms to document informed consent in the digital age may seem harmless, especially when so much of your other patient data is making its way into electronic health records (EHRs). But you may be surprised to learn how often paper-based consent forms expose providers to incomplete data records, missing information, and low patient ratings.

In one widely published study, informed consent forms were found to be missing for 66% of surgical procedures. Another report conducted at the dawn of the healthcare digital age found that 96% of patients already preferred electronic informed consent over traditional paper forms.

And then there’s this fact: When signed consent forms are not readily available, tracking down the right paperwork means more time spent on processes such as scanning, uploading, labeling, and indexing—and less caring for patients.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Not with mobile healthcare solutions on the rise.

Why Switch to Mobile Informed Consent?

Most, if not all, of the problems inherent to the informed consent process can be eliminated by going mobile.

Web-based mobile healthcare forms are not only more patient-friendly than outdated paper processes; they also ensure data is safely stored and automatically routed to the right care team members.

Bottom line: The ability to capture consent and access information in a matter of seconds is invaluable for patients and providers alike. And getting started is much easier than you may think.

Mobile healthcare solutions is a topic we address in great detail in our white paper, “The Power of Online Form Solutions in the Era of Digital Documentation.” Click the link below to download your complimentary copy.