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How to improve the healthcare system through electronic signatures

Healthcare in Spain, whether public or private, has always been the subject of criticism or praise, debate or discussion. Cuts, low productivity in certain areas, excessively long waiting lists, poor queue management… We could say that the healthcare system is a subject that never leaves anyone indifferent.

One of the most frequently asked questions, especially by those of us who work in the ICT sector, is: What can be done to improve service? How can we optimize processes? How can we do more with less? We will move away from the healthcare controversy to propose some solutions from our field.

From Viafirma we propose some improvements in the Spanish health system (exportable to any other health system) that could be carried out thanks to the electronic signature and digital authentication. Let’s see what you think:

  • Confirmation of presence by the patient:

In order to optimize the queue management of health centers or hospitals, technologies could be used to speed up the waiting time of patients and improve the attention of health professionals. In Viafirma we have thought about the following measures:

    • Fingerprint reading, which unequivocally identifies the patient. The fingerprint capture device of our Viafirma solution allows authentication through this biometric evidence.
    • Authentication with DNIe (does not require PIN to read identity).
    • Authentication with biometric signature. Our mobile applications support biometric signature, based on the capture of electronic evidence such as time stamp, photographs or geolocated position of the signer, among others.

Once it is known that the patient is on the premises of the centers, it is possible to optimize the entry in consultations or specialties for which he/she has been scheduled, anticipating these users with respect to those who have not arrived. This makes it possible to take advantage of doctors’ downtime and reduce the patient’s waiting time.

  • Deferred signature of informed consent:

On another occasion we have already talked about informed consent and the advantages that digital signatures can offer. We are convinced that the deferred signature is a fundamental advance to speed up procedures in the healthcare sector.

The possibility of digitally signing the informed consent form is a great relief for patients and professionals. The patient can take the document with him to read it at his leisure. For physicians, the advantages are even greater, as they are spared the need to sign long and tedious paper documents by hand.

The mechanism of the deferred signature is simple; patients who have received the informed consent at the consultation but have not signed it, can take the consent form marked with a code to their home. Subsequently, when they have decided to proceed with their signature, they can go to the hospital center and sign at unattended stations available for this function.

Users will only have to enter their unique consent code and can sign directly on signature capturing devices or on tablets available for this purpose.

  • Remote signature of the informed consent and other documents:

In this case, the advantages for the patient are even greater, as they can digitally sign the documents from any place they wish, all they need is a mobile device. Now we are talking about including in the portal of the medical center in question the option for patients to sign their informed consents by means of an electronic certificate.

With Viafirma Documents, the patient will be able to sign this type of documents in any mobile device, either tablet or smartphone. This application combines the patient’s signature, which can be handwritten digitized, and the signature of the health staff, which can be electronic.

By issuing his electronic signature, the physician can easily sign all the informed consents he has foreseen for a stipulated period of time. This is known as a bulk signature.

On the other hand, the patient, by means of a digitalized handwritten signature, can sign the informed consent form on the spot, thus solving all the formalities and ensuring that there is no paper involved. This system reduces costs, but its main advantage is another, its security.

  • Electronic signature with certificate:

Following the philosophy of the previous points, this measure would make it possible to sign any other hospital procedure remotely, avoiding the need for the citizen to travel to the center to sign physically.

  • Mobility application for the medical center user

Thanks to our APIs for signing, applications could be published for users of the medical center, which not only provide them with information such as appointments, vaccination schedules, etc., but also allow them to receive and sign documents from their medical records from their mobile device, either with software certificates or with smartcards (eID).

Mobility solutions such as Viafirma Mobile offer healthcare professionals the possibility to sign documents from their mobile devices.

The application recognizes advanced electronic signature, which is generated inside the mobile device, with a digital certificate, and qualified electronic signature, when using our smart card reader. This signature is valid because it uses a secure signature creation device such as the electronic ID, and meets the requirements of advanced electronic signature.

These have been our proposals to improve the problems and deficiencies of the healthcare system. Undoubtedly, we are convinced that the electronic signature and all the solutions that make it possible to develop it, are a factor that can help the healthcare sector a lot.

What steps would you take to improve the situation? We hope you enjoyed the content. For more information or to resolve any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.


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