By Lester Mcpherson, National Director – Customer Acquisition, Success and Expansion at Strata Health Canada 

“Our health system is fully electronic…except we’re not using e-signatures” 馃檨

I’ve been proud to remove faxing from many healthcare system workflow processes. “We’re digital now!” is the enthusiastic chant for the day as we celebrate another successful implementation. But, of course, there’s a tiny piece that is sometimes outstanding: acceptance of an electronic signature.

Electronic signatures have been on the rise in recent years as more and more businesses and individuals have embraced the convenience and efficiency of signing documents digitally. However, there is a hidden war against e-signatures, and we must take notice.

Are electronic signatures secure? 

One of the main arguments against e-signatures is that they are less secure than traditional, wet-ink signatures. Critics argue that digital signatures can be easily forged or tampered with, making them unreliable. However, this is not true. Electronic signatures are often more secure than wet-ink signatures, as they can be verified using advanced technology, such as biometrics and encryption.

Are electronic signatures legal?

Another argument against e-signatures is that they are not legally binding. This is also untrue, as e-signatures are recognized as legally binding in many countries, including the United States, Canada, and the European Union. Interestingly, the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, signed into law in the United States in 2000, specifically states that electronic signatures have the same legal weight as traditional signatures.

Are electronic signatures the future of healthcare?

The future is digital and electronic signatures are a vital step toward healthcare’s digital evolution. So, why is there a hidden war on e-signatures? The answer usually falls between ‘simple’ and ‘technical restriction/capability.’ In many instances, health organizations and professional health standards/certification bodies are resistant to change. They are comfortable with the traditional way of doing things and are reluctant to use new technology. But the truth is, e-signatures are the future. They are more efficient, secure, and legally binding than traditional signatures. It’s time for us to embrace the convenience, productivity, and efficiency of e-signatures and leave the past behind.


About the Author
Lester McPherson is a seasoned healthcare professional with over 15 years of experience in healthcare operations and business development. He has a proven track record of delivering exceptional client experiences and driving growth in the healthcare industry. Lester is currently the Director of Business Development at Strata Health Solutions, where he leads the Client Experience team in the development of innovative solutions for our diverse client roster. Connect with Lester on LinkedIn. 

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