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e-Signatures Are Here To Stay

e-Signatures Are Here To Stay

| March 09, 2023

When visiting the vet recently I realized how quickly our society is transitioning to electronic document processing.  A day before my appointment I received a text message asking me to confirm electronically.  The morning of the visit I received a text message asking me to e-sign consent forms.  At the vet's office I was presented forms on an ipad device that I signed with my finger.  I paid my bill by tapping my card on the register. I then instantly received a copy of all my signed documents by email. Last of all, I received a satisfaction survey by text asking for feedback about my experience.  As convenient and efficient as all this was I think the best part of my experience was receiving a personal phone call from the vet to check on my pet the next day. 

Over the last few weeks my practice has transitioned almost entirely to e-signatures.  This is a good thing because paperwork requirements in our industry have dramatically increased of late.  Documentation that involved 20 pages and took 20 minutes to prepare now involve hundreds of pages and literally hours to put together and process.  

Know that if you are reading this electronic message you probably have everything you need to electronically sign documents.  We primarily use the DocuSign program to process electronic signatures, and this involves navigating Five Easy Steps.  While processing documents electronically is much faster and less expensive, we recognize that e-signature is not for everyone. Do you remember learning how to pump your own gas or use an ATM card?  There's a learning curve with e-signature that we'll get used to as everything changes over.  Till then we can walk through the process together every time you need to e-sign. You can even drop by the office to e-sign documents.  

The most diffucult part of processing documents electronically is identity verification. Before you can sign documents you have to prove you are you.  To do this you are asked to verify personal information available through public records, and this isn't always easy.  I recently failed to validate my identity when asked to confirm phone numbers I've been associated with.  Do you remember your phone number in high school or college?  How about the name of your first pet or stuffed animal?  What about the make and model of your first car?  Was that street you lived on in elementary school a Dr. Ct. St. or Ave?  How about your apartment number in zip code in college?  Fortunately, there are few failures to validate identity.   

If an e-signature fails for any reason we can resend the documents for a second attempt. If the second attempt fails you'll have wait for five days or come by the office to provide an old fashioned 'wet' signature.  Or we can mail you the documents for wet signature. Just know that wet signatures now require us to print up and process hundreds of pages that then have to be professionally shredded and recycled.