The Impact of Informed Consent – Part 3: Cost

Informed Consent: Letting Go of the Status Quo

In Part 1 of this blog series, we examined informed consent’s impact on compliance, the legal and ethical implications of missing consent forms, and the standardization an eConsent solution brings to the process.

Part 2 looked at how a paper-based informed consent process and its intrinsic inefficiencies can impact satisfaction for both clinicians and patients.

Now, in Part 3 we will uncover the true costs associated with a paper-based informed consent process and how an eConsent solution can reduce costs associated with paper and surgical delays.


Can Your Healthcare Organization Afford the Cost of Paper-Based Consent Forms?

Despite advances in automation technology, many hospitals today are still documenting informed consent on paper.  This exposes the hospital to the risk of missing forms, improper documentation, and the costly liabilities associated.

Research from CynergisTek shows that the average 1,500-bed hospital prints more than 8 million pages per month, and with an average cost of four cents per printed page, the costs add up, equating to about $3.8 million of spend per year – and that’s not including printing equipment, such as printers, scanners, and storage. According to the analysis, 76 percent of healthcare organizations surveyed, which use a common EHR platform, still print consent forms instead of using an electronic signature solution.

While paper processes bring obvious costs to an organization, the possibility of losing or misplacing consent forms is a highly expensive risk to take.

According to an article citing a study from JAMA Surgery, missing consent forms occurred in 66 percent of procedures.  These missing forms are estimated to delay 10 percent of surgeries and can cost hospitals $580,000 each year.

The cost of an inefficient consent process isn’t just financial, it can lead to a higher probably of litigation for a hospital.  A hospital’s inability to prove informed consent in a malpractice case can be very costly.

The costs of paper processes paired with the repercussions of an idle procedure room can’t be ignored.


Cutting Paper (and Costs) from the Informed Consent Process

Consent automation cuts costs associated with paper processes by replacing paper-based, manual processes with digital workflows. On forms costs alone, hospitals can save thousands of dollars per year with the right solution in place. Removing paper-based forms can also decrease the chances of costly delays and liability issues.

FormFast enhances staff efficiency and saves on expenses. We used to have piles and piles of forms that were ordered from the printer and if we made one little change, then we’d be tossing thousands of dollars of forms away. So it’s very cost effective.” Johns Hopkins Medicine, Systems Analyst

As a result of FormFast’s eConsent Solution, customers have reported:

  • 10+ minutes a day saved per patient in scanning consent form signatures
  • 2+ surgeries performed daily
  • This equals 2.3 Million in revenue each year.

FormFast offers a solution to improve your informed consent form process whether it’s currently all paper-based or partially automated. FormFast integrates with your EHR system to present the correct documentation for patient signatures on mobile devices. Consents are quickly signed by the patient on a mobile device, immediately archived, and instantly visible to the care team. Healthcare staff can deliver better patient care and realize higher levels of productivity with an electronic, standardized process; while patients appreciate the familiar and intuitive interface, and overall seamless process.

The problems with paper-based informed consent are common and costly. Learn how you can partner with FormFast to take strategic action to improve the efficiency of the critical process of informed consent. 

Stay Tuned for Part 4: Examining Informed Consent’s Impact on Productivity