As a healthcare provider, it is important to make sure that your patients’ preferences and wishes are being taken into consideration while providing treatment. When their condition deteriorates and they are incapacitated to communicate their wishes to you, you turn to their proxy or agent who communicates on their behalf. To validate the preferences communicated by the proxy, you need to have a legal document in place. It is called the Health Care Proxy Form which is filled by the patient before availing treatment.
What is a Health Care Proxy Form?
The Health Care Proxy Form is a legal document and a part of the Advance Care Directive that allows a patient to appoint someone as a proxy to make decisions on their behalf if the patient’s health condition deteriorates and they’re not in the position to make their own decisions.
You need to document the patient’s wishes to ensure that the doctor in charge is familiar with what the patient wants even when he/she is not in a position to communicate the same. In addition to documenting such information, it is also important to digitize the same for security, accessibility, and compliance reasons. Let’s understand all of this in detail.
Why should you digitize the Health Care Proxy Form?
Here are some key reasons why digitizing the Health Care Proxy Form is crucial in a healthcare setting:
- Convenience: A digitized form will save you the time and resources that you spend in filling, scanning, and uploading paper forms.
- Accessibility: A Health Care Proxy Form that is stored electronically can be easily accessed at any time and anywhere, with just an active internet connection.
- Security: While a paper Health Care Proxy Form can be accessed by unauthorized persons, can get stolen, damaged, or lost; a digital Health Care Proxy Form can be stored securely with access and encryption controls. Such a practice is required to ensure safe storage and access of PHI and comes under HIPAA compliance.
- Easy sharing: You can easily share the digitized health Care Proxy Form with the patient’s family members, the doctor, or other relevant parties. Digitizing the form will come in handy when a physical meeting isn’t feasible.
- Integration: You can easily integrate the form with your EHR/EMR, which will make it easier for all parties involved to honor the wishes of the patient.
- Accuracy: Digitizing this form will ensure that all the questions are being answered, thereby reducing the possibility of errors or rework. Also, since the form is digital, you can easily update information as and when required.
How should you digitize the Health Care Proxy Form? 5 best practices to follow
Here are some of the best practices to follow to digitize this form:
- Ensure compliance with legal requirements: The Health Care Proxy Form is not a standard form and varies across jurisdictions. So make sure to tweak the form available here as per the rules applicable in your state.
- Ensure that the form is device-compatible: You must make sure that the form that you send across is easily accessible to the patient and is compatible with all types of devices and operating systems.
- Maintain the privacy and confidentiality of data: In order to provide the best possible care to the patient, you also need to protect their data and only share it with authorized personnel. From implementing access controls to training your staff, take adequate measures to safeguard patient data.
- Educate the patient: While sending the form across, ask the patient to read everything carefully and allow them to reach out to you in case they have any questions.
- Make sure to follow up: Give the patient a set date to fill out the form and send it across to you. For the same, you can send automated reminders and follow-up messages.
How can you digitize the Health Care Proxy Form with Emitrr?
Here’s how Emitrr can help streamline the process of digitizing the Health Care Proxy Form for you:
- You can customize and download the available template as per your requirements. Make sure to refer to your state laws to tweak the form accordingly.
- You can schedule a text message reminding the patient to fill out the form in due time. Set 2-3 follow-up messages to ensure that the patient does not miss out on filling the form. This will eliminate the time wasted on calls.
- When the patient sends the form across, you can sync the form with your EHR/EMR, which means 3-4 hours of daily time saved as the paperwork gets completely eliminated. Check if Emitrr integrates with your medical software here: https://emitrr.com/integrations/
- Since the form is digitized, your patient can enter every piece of information by themselves such as contact details, photograph, signature, insurance details, etc. This means that your patient doesn’t need to fill out the form sitting in the waiting room, they can do it at their convenience and send it.
- Make sure that the form is securely stored and is only accessible to authorized individuals. You can use a HIPAA-compliant form builder like Emitrr to ensure privacy of patient information.
Check how NF Urgent Care, an urgent care center based in New York streamlined their patient intake process with Emitrr and saved over 90 hours of manual work. – https://emitrr.com/customer-stories/niagra-falls-urgent-care/
All in all, if you are struggling to keep track of your forms and are looking forward to a solution that helps save time and enhances operational workflow, then reach out to us and get your forms digitized, absolutely free of cost!