Different tools are built for different jobs. For example, you can write a letter with a paintbrush, but it is not as effective as a pen. The same goes for software. An EMR platform is excellent for the purpose for which it was designed, as an administrative data management system for patient information, scheduling, and billing. But just as a paintbrush isn’t the best tool for the specific purpose of writing a letter, an EMR isn’t the best tool to manage cardiopulmonary rehab monitoring and management.
One specific example is the Individual Treatment Plan. In a leading EMR, the task of updating and signing off an ITP can be much more complicated than through a cardiopulmonary rehab monitoring platform like VersaCare. In an EMR, you may not be able to see the entire form, only small areas at a time, which might make reading the ITP cumbersome. Some EMR systems require the printing many pages of an ITP for Physician review, adding to the complexity and inconvenience. Lastly, the EMR may not have the capability for it’s data to automatically flow into the ITP, adding time and complexity as much if the ITP information would have to be re-entered after an update for each patient.
In a purpose-built platform like VersaCare, none of this is an issue. The entire ITP is visible for review, all data flows throughout the system and automatically populates the ITP, so that you only update what has changed every 30 days, there is no need to print the ITP and the Physician can sign off in VersaCare through a digital signature.
Some EMRs many claim there is a validity or legality issue with digital signatures on PDF documents. This can lead some hospitals to be apprehensive towards modifying their attestation policy that electronic signatures must be on the file itself. Digital signatures are, however, very secure and legal. Hospitals stakeholders that have a broader understanding of technology know it is impossible to spoof an electronic signature without corrupting the EMR application and have successfully implemented the feature. Having an EMR stamp that a physician “signed” the link to the PDF file (e.g. Dr. John Doe signed PDF file on May 24, 2022 at 9:02am EST) is as valid a signature as the pen and ink counterpart. Once there is the understanding of the validity, legality and security of digital signatures, the benefit of signing only in the EMR no longer exists.
For additional information on digital signatures, read more here: https://www.adobe.com/sign/compliance/electronic-signature-legality.html