E-Signatures in Healthcare: Streamlining Consent

February 19th, 2016
E-Signatures in Healthcare: Streamlining Consent

Health and Life Insurance are vital requirements in present era due to highly expensive medical treatments and life-threat in today’s busy life and unbalanced environment. Many people had lost their lives recently in floods and storms. Countless people got injured badly. Only life and health insurance policies keep you and your family safe from financial crisis in such bad accidents.

Association of British Insurers (ABI) understands the importance of health and life covers in Brits lives hence always thinks about how to make the underwriting process easy and fast for end consumers. Recently ABI has published a set of high level principles for e-Signature’s usage. This will make the entire process of applying and buying insurance covers easy and fast for consumers.

By publishing these principles, ABI wants to build trust in GPs and consumers that consumers’ consent with e-Signature is completely safe and secure as the current paper-based system. It also helps to speed up the task of providing valuable life insurance cover and annuities for consumers.

Joint General Practitioner Information Technology Committee of British Medical Association and Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) with approval of General Medical Council (GMC) also contributed with ABI in developing these principles.

Comparison between e-Signature consent with Wet Signature based process

e-signature Vs Wet signatureSee the full width image here

Benefits of e-Signatures in underwriting process of insurance

Hassle-Free: No tension of bothersome paperwork! And save postage costs as well.

Safe- No risk of documents being tampered because you can keep the track on changes that have been made.

Fast- No filing, faxing or printing, so it consumes less time than the ordinary process.

Verification Methodology for matching signer with medical data consent

Three types of methods will be applied for associating e-Signature signer with consent being granted.

  1. IP Address: IP address of the device from where consent form is captured and saved along with the consent being granted. Through IP address, one can identify the device being used when consent is approved.
  2. One-Time Passcodes (OTP): A passcode will be sent by SMS or e-mail, and one has to write this passcode in completed electronic consent form. This shows the signer is the person who have access of phone or email address at the time of fulfilling form.
  3. “Handwritten” Signature: The signer uses the device to create a resemblance of their handwritten signature. This might be done with stylus or finger or with a mouse depending on the features of the device.

Above three methods will be helpful for creating evidential link between the signer and the consent being granted.

Protection and Health Policy Advisor at Association of British Insurers Charlie Campbell said “These Principles set an industry standard, giving doctors and customers a confidence that using e-Signatures is safe and secure, and will speed up the underwriting process for the benefit of customers.”

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