If ever a year has proven the importance of digital technology, it is 2020. The ability to pivot to remote operating models has enabled organisations of every shape, size and industry to remain productive and deliver vital services.
As a leader at the forefront of digitally enabled informed consent in healthcare, we have continued to facilitate secure, compliant processes so fertility treatments could proceed during the pandemic, whilst ensuring the safety of patients and clinical staff.
The future of fertility is digital
Fertility treatment is a highly regulated speciality that requires multiple visits to clinics, in part, to complete the necessary legal and medical paperwork and forms. This is an essential element in the process for both patients and clinics and each of these forms takes time to complete. Signing these forms provides informed consent before treatment begins and the content must be properly understood by the patient before signing.
Forms must be completed in compliance with HFEA regulations and with many elements of the fertility process and records already available electronically, it no longer makes sense for the consent process to be paper based.
Fertility Consent was developed to provide a secure digital platform for both patients and clinics that is not only HFEA compliant but adheres to NHS Digital Security and Protection Toolkit standards. This is why our secure online platform has been adopted by 50+ clinics in the UK across the private and public sector.
Clinics benefit from a secure platform for patient consent records with content and information tailored to the patient’s treatment. Patients benefit from an easy to use service that they can access on their own device, from the comfort of their own home.
Patients can be reassured that their registration forms, medical questionnaires and clinic consent forms are processed efficiently, stored electronically, and that all the information they provide is secure and legally binding through the use of digital signature technologies that conform to eIDAS.
The pandemic has highlighted the need for the widespread adoption of a digital consent process.
With many patients unable to continue with treatment for part of lockdown, clinics needed a solution that enabled them to provide services safely.
We have helped fertility clinics this year to deliver their services safely, providing clinics with additional support to ensure the safety of their staff and patients.
While minimising physical contact has been important this year, there are multiple other advantages in terms of security, compliance and ease of use for patients and clinics.
While the pandemic has highlighted the need for reliable, regulated digital processes, in the fertility treatment sector it has simply accelerated a trend that has been growing for some years – the ability to integrate certified fertility documentation securely with other electronic medical records so that patients receive an exemplary experience. As a result, digital consent is increasingly becoming a standard for fertility treatment and other medical specialities.
The importance of informed consent cannot be stressed highly enough and technology’s role in the process has become clearer than ever over the past year. Fertility Consent provides clinics with a platform to inform, involve and educate patients in a way that ensures the consent process is robustly and securely applied throughout, including audit trails to meet with clinical governance.
We will continue to develop state-of-the-art secure and certified solutions to enable clinics to provide a digital service that is as advanced as the treatment they provide.