Everyone in the care industry knows that paper has run its course. In building Birdie, we spoke with dozens of care providers who were working solely on paper to assess, plan, and record care delivery, and they were fed up. Since, we've supported them to take the digital leap, lowering their costs and helping their teams to focus on delivering outstanding care.
Using Birdie, high quality needs assessments and comprehensive care plans can be completed straight onto the tablet, right in the client’s home. Hours can be saved on a daily, weekly basis, meaning that time can be spent focusing on what matters most, delivering outstanding care.
However, there was one part of the assessment process which was still paper based - up until now. We're thrilled to announce the launch of our E-Signatures feature this Spring, which is that final piece of the paperless puzzle.
What is an e-signature?
Under English law, an electronic signature is data in electronic form which is attached to or logically associated with other data in electronic form, and which is used by the signatory to sign (Article 3 (10, UK eIDAS). Unlike the traditional pen and paper approach that we are all familiar with, an electronic signature can take many forms.
- The signatory typing their name or initials at the bottom of an electronic document.
- A scanned handwritten signature that is incorporated onto an electronic document.
- Clicking an "I accept" or "I agree" button.
- Using a stylus or finger to sign an electronic document via a touchscreen or digital pad.
Before electronic signatures were legally recognised, contracts and forms had to be delivered (by post or by hand), signed, scanned and filed. This is time consuming, waiting for paperwork to be shuttled around could cause delays in care delivery.
Using Birdie to collect a client’s signature is instant. Whilst you're sitting with the individual, their family and loved ones, you can get those all important signatures, allowing care to begin as soon as needed. Show your clients you’re a responsive agency that’s ready to deliver extraordinary care, by taking them through a full paperless onboarding. Know it’s a safe and secure process. All signatures received in Birdie are time and date stamped, and given a unique ID which connects the document and signature. Have all of this automatically added to your digital records, so you’re ready to show the CQC at any time, without having to prep endless paperwork.
When would an e-signature be used?
An e-signature can simply be used in place of a written signature, in virtually any process. It is a requirement for people using health and social care services to give their consent before any care or treatment is provided, or for other reasons.
- To share information with third parties such as GPs and pharmacists
- To invite family members to download the Birdie Family App
- To gain entry to the client's home by accessing their key safe
When a person is asked for their consent, it is important that they are given enough information about the topic at hand to be able to make an informed decision. If they have any questions, they should be able to have these answered by a knowledgeable member of the team who can provide them with accurate answers.
If the client lacks mental capacity to make an informed decision or give consent, the care team must act in accordance with the requirements of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and associated code of practice. The client may have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, which means that they have appointed someone to make decisions on their behalf. Using Birdie’s e-signature process in care planning gives you peace of mind to know we have crossed the t’s and dotted the i’s on the legal requirements for collecting a person’s consent.
How does it work?
Using Birdie, care agencies can upload any documents which they would have previously shared with clients for a written signature into the Agency Hub. These are automatically stamped with a unique ID that is later used to securely link the signature to the document. Once this is done, the agency can select any relevant documents from this collection to add to each client's file. When visiting a client to carry out an initial assessment or review meeting, these documents can be previewed on a tablet or laptop so that the client can read them carefully, and have the opportunity to ask any questions.
When they're ready, they can tick to say that they have read and agree with the terms of the documents, and then click to sign. This will create an e-signature which is then stored against the documents, so that it can be referred back to at a later date. If there are others present at this point - such as the client's social worker or advocate - they are also able to add their e-signature.
All signatures are automatically dated, providing a clear evidence trail, and a summary of signed documents can be downloaded at any time so that it can be printed or emailed securely.
Using the e-signature feature on Birdie takes agencies one step closer to being fully paperless. You can keep all documentation under one umbrella, without having to scan another document again. Importantly, it also simplifies the process for clients - who can now sign several documents with a single e-signature.
To find out more about e-signatures and many other Birdie features, book a consultation with a member of our team, today.