Many sectors have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, none more so, nor more directly, than healthcare. We are already seeing organisations in many areas, such as universities, businesses and public administrations that leverage digital technology to adapt to this unprecedented crisis, from adopting remote working practices to using big data to inform lockdown policy.
The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) eSignature building block is one solution that can support healthcare service providers in accelerating their digital transformation by increasing interoperability in the sector across Europe. eSignature helps public administrations, businesses and citizens to create and verify electronic signatures and seals remotely from anywhere in Europe, at any time.
By replacing traditional, handwritten signatures with electronic signatures that are recognised across all Member States, hospitals and other healthcare establishments can combat the coronavirus directly by minimising unnecessary contact, while still instilling a high level of trust. Furthermore, electronic signatures can improve healthcare establishments’ overall efficiency, meaning they can facilitate timely, trustworthy health care services provided to citizens both during and beyond the pandemic.
Find out how other CEF building blocks are helping fight coronavirus here.
What has eSignature to offer?
Trust, transparency and security
When it comes to the highly sensitive personal data at stake in healthcare, security and trust are vital. The eSignature building block empowers organisations to build electronic signature solutions in full compliance with the eIDAS Regulation. This means that as traditional paper-based processes become digital, the utmost degree of security is guaranteed for patients’ personal information, creating a healthcare system that citizens can trust.
Electronic signatures have numerous applications in healthcare, from patients being able to remotely sign consent forms to secure, efficient transactions between healthcare establishments and insurance companies.
Here are just some use-cases where remotely signing documents with eSignature can make patient-institution interactions more seamless, while minimising unnecessary contact:
- patient admissions into hospitals;
- electronic medicine prescriptions and dispensations;
- hospital discharge letters;
- medical leave certificates;
- organ donation consents.
In addition to this, eSignature brings the added benefit of legal and technical interoperability across borders. For example, an electronic medical record signed using eSignature in somebody’s country of origin is recognised as legally valid in other Member States. If you have a specific medical condition, healthcare providers in a different country can access a secure, verifiable record of this condition and adjust their treatment accordingly. A record of treatments undergone in this country can then be electronically signed and shared with medical practitioners from your country of origin, making your healthcare experience as easy and seamless as possible.
eSignature can also play a key role in a wider effort to digitalise the health sector, through a number of applications. For example:
- hospital purchases of medical equipment and medicine;
- hospital contracting;
- processing transactions between hospitals and patients’ health insurance providers;
- medical professionals updating or renewing their credentials.
This makes eSignature a solution that can bring both short- and long-term benefits to the health sector, helping create a secure, efficient and seamless healthcare system both during and beyond the pandemic.
How does eSignature work?
eSignature helps implement your own digital signature solution by providing the following services and resources:
- The DSS Open-Source library: a library of software and technical specifications for building a conformant, interoperable eSignature solution;
- A browser of Trusted Lists containing trusted providers of e-signature and e-seal certificates and a Trusted Lists Manager, that enables the creation, editing and maintenance of Trusted Lists in a standard, machine-readable format.
- E-Signature validation tests to ensure your solution is eIDAS-compliant.
eSignature has the potential to transform the way we provide healthcare, vastly increasing user-friendliness from service providers to end-users in a fast, verified and secure way.