" form Archives - LuxSci

Posts Tagged ‘form’

Streamline Operations by Transitioning to Digital Forms

Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

Most healthcare organizations are pursuing digital transformation, but many providers are still reliant on paper forms that need to be printed out, scanned, filed, and securely stored. Shifting to a digital system can streamline operational processes and save time, money, and effort.

digital forms

Why Transition to Digital Forms

There are several reasons to switch to online forms. These include:

  • Having a single, verified source of patient information
  • Making workplace operations more efficient
  • Streamlining tasks such as appointment booking and generating referrals
  • Minimizing spam and other issues that come from using email
  • Enhancing data management processes
  • Cutting back on paper usage and reducing physical secure storage space

Paper forms are easily stolen, destroyed, misplaced, or damaged. A secured digital system saves time and strengthens the organization’s data security posture.

Improve the Patient Check-In Process

Almost every time a patient visits a doctor’s office, they must fill out paper forms. The time the patient spends filling out these forms could be better spent interacting with their health care provider. In addition, the front office staff must organize, file, and store these never-ending documents. Sometimes these forms are scanned and digitally filed.

Why not cut out the extra step and require patients to submit these forms digitally? Before the patient’s appointment, they could fill out and submit these forms in the patient portal. Providers could also use iPads or tablets to have patients digitally submit forms in the office.

This improves efficiency and data management processes while enabling staff to focus on what matters most- providing excellent medical care.

Integrate Digital Forms with Electronic Records

Another benefit of digitizing paper forms is that it is easier to integrate with existing electronic records systems. Using a digital form solution that connects to systems via APIs (like LuxSci’s Secure Form) allows organizations to upload their form data to a secure database. In addition, look for digital form solutions that can be configured to send or save form data wherever the organization designates. Flexibility helps preserve existing workflows and meet documentation requirements.

For example, an organization may utilize multiple online forms that require different storage workflows. Contact forms may be sent to an email inbox for follow-up by office staff, while patient forms should be sent to a secure database or added directly to a patient’s file. Using a flexible digital form streamlines processes for office staff.

LuxSci’s Secure Form lets organizations send data to email addresses, databases, file storage, SFTP, or any webhook-enabled place like Slack. No special software or web hosting changes are required to use it. The Secure Form service turns complex data collection into a simple process.

Ink Signatures

If the paper forms are legal documents, like medical information releases, they should have signature capabilities. Ink signatures enable form users to submit handwritten signatures with a web form. Ink signatures are more legally binding because they prove the user’s identity and intention.

Accordingly, LuxSci’s Secure Form has ink signature capabilities that do not require additional software to install. They are easy for users as well. All they have to do is draw their signatures in the box with their mouse, a stylus, or finger.

The signature is saved as an image file that can be easily stored and secured. See Web Form Signatures: Fast, Easy Method of Informed Consent for more information on ink signatures.

Conclusion

There is no reason to continue using paper forms in today’s digitally enabled world. Transitioning to digital forms improves operational efficiency and data management practices. Interested in getting started? LuxSci’s Secure Form offers the security and flexibility to manage patient-submitted data.

Is a “Click Here to Agree” User Agreement Checkbox Legally Binding?

Tuesday, November 16th, 2021

A website order form or registration form comes complete with terms and conditions. What is the best way to have the user see and agree with these terms? Ultimately, the user’s agreement needs to be legally binding to protect the business if there is an issue. Is it good enough to have the user check an agreement checkbox? Do you have to do more? Do you have to be sure that the user reads the terms?

user agreement checkbox

These questions come up all the time and are a cause for concern. Just because other websites do it “one way” does not necessarily make that way right or best for you. This article will tackle how the different choices you make in getting user agreements translate (or don’t translate) into binding contractual relationships.*

* This material is legal in nature and taken from discussions with our own legal counsel and from the American Bar Association. However, we are not lawyers and this should not be considered “legal advise.” Please consult your own lawyers to confirm how your choices apply to your particular situation and needs. 

1. The “BrowseWrap Agreement”: Don’t do this!

Some websites include a textual statement similar to: “Using this site signifies your acceptance of our terms and conditions” or “By submitting this form, you accept our terms of use.” A link to the terms is usually (but not always) located near this statement. The website user does not have to do anything to signify reading and accepting the terms. In most cases, the user may not even be aware of this statement and may not know about the terms thrust upon them through the use of the site.

This kind of “just by using it, you agree” format is known as a “browsewrap agreement.” Courts have held that these user agreements are not usually* binding on users and have little value in protecting the website and its owners. Do not use a browsewrap agreement if you want any meaningful contract with your site user.

* An exception seems to be, for example, if the case where a user is behaving in a way that implies that they are aware of the terms and are trying to get around them.

2. The “ClickWrap Agreement”: User Agreement Checkbox

Users commonly encounter checkboxes that must be checked to signify the acceptance of the terms, the agreement, etc. The agreement will be presented on the page (e.g., in a scrolling box) or a link to it right near the check box. The user is not permitted to continue until that box has been checked, indicating that the user agrees.

This is called a “clickwrap agreement.” The agreement is wrapped up in the deliberate action of clicking to signify acceptance of the terms or contract.

Courts generally uphold clickwrap agreements as legally binding. They can be used for order forms, contracts, and other agreements.

What makes a User Agreement Checkbox binding?

The most significant thing that makes a clickwrap agreement binding is that the user must intentionally agree (i.e., by checking the agreement box and any other actions, like submitting an order). It does not matter if the user has read or understands the terms as long as the user agrees. Why? The user can read the agreement, ask questions, gain clarification, and NOT agree if they do not understand or do not agree. By actually agreeing, the user is waiving the “I didn’t read it” or “I don’t understand it” complaints.

Clickwrap requirements:

  1. The terms must be on the page near the user agreement checkbox so the user can read them. Or, there must be a clear link to the terms near the checkbox.
  2. The user must not be able to proceed with any actions (e.g., ordering, registering) until the agreement checkbox is checked.

Several things strengthen the degree to which a clickwrap agreement is binding:

  1. If a link to the terms is used, it should be prominent and clear. The text near the box should clearly state that the user agrees to the terms.
  2. Make sure the terms are obvious and readable. I.e., use large type size, clear text, etc.
  3. Including the terms in an [scrolling] area above the agreement checkbox is better than a link.
  4. Ensure your site records and saves the fact that the agreement checkbox was checked (or not)! Include all contextual information such as the date, time, internet IP address, etc.
  5. Make sure that your terms agreement is a valid and standard legal document. Have your lawyer review it.

PDF DocuSign- Next Level User Agreement Checkbox

So far, we have been discussing “checking a checkbox” to agree. If you have used DocuSign or similar technologies, the process is more elaborate:

  1. Enter your name (and initials) and “assume a signature.” This is just your name rendered in some interesting font.
  2. Click on specific boxes to “Sign” your agreement as you read the PDF. This pastes in your assumed signature.

This has all of the hallmarks of a very good clickwrap:

  1. The user signs within the document — so there is no doubt that it was read or viewed.
  2. The signer intentionally clicks to agree to each signature area.
  3. You are not “done” until you have signed all areas (i.e., you can not proceed until you have explicitly agreed)

DocuSign is essentially “clickwrap” made easily and correctly for a PDF. However, it does not add binding power beyond what you can get with regular clickwrap.

Beyond Clickwrap- Ink Signatures

What can improve on clickwrap? You can improve on clickwrap by:

  1. Intention: Making the user do more to confirm than check a box. This shows more intention.
  2. Identity: Find ways to more strongly associate the act of signing with who is performing that act. There is less and less of an argument that “it wasn’t me.”

One way to go beyond clickwrap is to use LuxSci’s “Ink Signatures” and Secure Form service for collecting your web form data. Ink Signatures add a box (or multiple boxes) to your web form where users can sign their name with a mouse, stylus, or finger.

How can using Secure Form + Ink Signatures make document agreements more binding?

  1. The user does more work than checking a box by signing their name. This shows more intention and can make the contract more binding.
  2. The signature can be a required field so that the user cannot proceed without signing.
  3. Identity verification can be done through the signature images as the user signs their name.
  4. Secure Form automatically records the date and time the form was submitted and the internet IP address of the user who signed the form.
  5. Secure Form’s GeoLocation feature records the latitude, longitude, and approximate physical address of the user who signed the form when they signed it.

Item 1 speaks to intention. Items 3 through 5 improve the binding of identity to the agreement. This takes clickwrap to the next level and improves the legal enforceability of your terms and conditions.

What type of user agreement process is best for your forms? That depends on the terms and the degree to which enforceably binding agreements with your end-users are needed. Consult with a lawyer if you are unsure.

7 Steps to Make your Webste HIPAA-Compliant

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021

Telehealth is the new standard thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many medical providers are finding that telehealth is a safer option during the pandemic, and it can also help increase patient access to healthcare and improve outcomes. Along with video appointments, the virtual medicine push includes making protected health information available to patients via a website and collecting similar private information from patients or would-be patients online.

However, where the health information of an identifiable individual is involved, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is the official compliance document. The Omnibus rule requires all websites, old and new, to be appropriately designed, or their owners can face potential financial liability into the millions of dollars.

So, what do these requirements mean, and how can HIPAA be followed in the context of a website?

Read the rest of this post »

Does my patient intake form need to be HIPAA compliant?

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

 

Our latest “Ask Erik” question involves questioning when web-based patient-intake forms need to be HIPAA compliant:

B.G. asks:

“Do we need to be HIPAA compliant if our intake forms have patient name, birthday, and address, but no social security number or other insurance information?”

The short answer is “YES“.

You need to be concerned about HIPAA compliance when you ask or send identifiable health information.  It is perhaps not surprising, but “identifiable” is a really broad concept.

Read the rest of this post »

Embedding Secure Forms into WordPress using an iframe

Monday, March 14th, 2016

WordPress is incredibly popular website management and blogging platform. Customers frequently inquire about the best way to add forms to their WordPress pages and posts. Not just any forms- they want to integrate complex forms that can be HIPAA-compliant and which can submit data securely through Secure Form.

There are numerous options here. The two most popular are GravityForms and embedding forms with an iframe. GravityForms is popular and very cool, but not free. Also, as GravityForms is complex and wants to manage all of your form data itself (insecurely), integration with Secure Form is limited:

  • Multiple forms on the same page can be tricky
  • Ink Signatures can not be captured
  • File uploads can not be captured

Another alternative, which is free as it is included with your Secure Form service, is to:

  1. Build your form with Secure Form Form Builder
  2. Embed this form into your WordPress page or post using an iframe

What is an “iframe?” It is a tool that allows you to embed one web page within another web page. When you build a form with FormBuilder — that form is automatically saved and hosted securely for you, and you are provided with the website address (URL) for that form. You need to “insert” that hosted form into your WordPress page/post, and you are all set. All FormBuilder features are also supported: Ink Signatures, file uploads, geolocation, etc.

Read the rest of this post »