As we have mentioned before, paperwork is one of the biggest issues to plague the care home industry. With 100’s of forms to fill in every single day, many care home staff feel that all they do is paperwork, without actually delivering the service they love. While several suggestions have been thrown around to ease this pain, one that hasn’t been discussed much is e-forms and e-signatures, and what role they might have in the care home environment.
What Is An E-Form?
The key to an e-form is in the name – it is an electronic form that can be filled in using a computer, tablet or even mobile device. The form itself isn’t high tech or very complicated – it looks just like a digital version of what’s on the computer. But once the form has been filled in (with standard type instead of difficult to read handwriting), the data can be saved and stored or sent to the appropriate places straight away. E-signatures work in conjunction with e-forms, and allow people to digitally sign documents with a single click.
How Will They Help Care Homes?
Simply by replacing current forms and paperwork with e-forms, care homes could see a number of benefits. We’ve already touched on one, and that’s the fact that all paperwork will be filled in with digital text, so there will be no difficulty in reading handwriting. It’s also much quicker to fill in, and with management able to create ‘template’ documents with the essential information already filled in, it could save a huge amount of time. This will also lead to a dramatic reduction in duplication errors, as repeated information can be programed to auto-fill, leaving only new information to be added each time. E-forms are easily formatted and programmed, and almost completely eliminate the need to print, store and distribute paper forms. The addition of e-signatures means that staff don’t have to print forms and wait for them to be signed, they can simply send them by email and receive a signed copy back within minutes. The information digitally stored in these documents can also be easily searched for by staff at any time, leading to more time saved and better quality of care.
But e-forms are just one part of the solution for care homes. When coupled with a sophisticated content management solution and centralised document storage, e-forms provide a platform for rapid responses and higher qualities of ongoing care for residents. They also represent a significant improvement for care home staff by shifting the focus of their role away from administrative paperwork and back onto the comfort and care of patients. For more information on e-forms in care homes, or to book your free demo, just get in touch with the Tipac team today.