Getting a functional virtual office up and running takes some time. Time that you probably don’t feel you have right now. It might be tempting to take shortcuts so you can get back to helping your clients.
Some shortcuts do make sense, but others, like sending PDFs of forms you already have instead of building them in Hush Secure Forms, can cause problems that will cost you more time down the line.
If you have a Hushmail for Healthcare account with e-signatures, then you get at least five web forms in Hush Secure Forms. That means you can build five unique forms of any length with our form builder.
It might sound like a lot of work to build a form, but it’s not. If you have a simple form that just needs a signature, it should take you only a few minutes to set up.
The benefits you receive from using a form you’ve built with the form builder are significant. In today’s post, we’ll compare sending a PDF versus building a form. Then, we’ll give you the steps to quickly create a form you already have.
After reading this post, sending a PDF might not seem like such a worthwhile shortcut.
Downside of sending PDFs
If you’re planning to send PDFs of forms you already have on hand, consider the time this will cost your clients. They’ll have to print the PDF, sign it, scan it, and email it back. That’s a lot of steps to sign a form, and that’s if everything goes as planned. How many times have you gone to print something just to find out your ink is low or you’re out of paper? Many people don’t even have printers or scanners in their homes.
The only benefit of sending a PDF is the small amount of time you might save at the beginning when you upload and send the form.
Here are some other downsides to sending a PDF:
- It requires special software to view and print
- If your client doesn't have the correct software, they might have to go through the process of downloading and installing it first before they can access the form.
- Your clients’ experiences will vary depending on the software and device they use
- Pre-sized fields limit the space for responses and signatures
- It’s difficult for you to make changes to the form
Benefits of building your own forms
Don’t let the term “building” put you off. You don’t have to know anything about code, or anything technical for that matter. You just need to drag and drop fields with your mouse or trackpad. You’re “building” a form much as you might build a tower of blocks.
It couldn’t be simpler, and the benefits of using a form you build yourself are many:
- Your clients can fill out the form on any device, no special software needed
- The size of the fields adjusts to accommodate the amount of text
- You can mark specific responses as required
- For more complex forms, client-friendly features such as a date picker, checkboxes, and dropdown menus make the form very easy to fill out
- Clients with sight issues can enlarge the text size
- It’s easy to edit and republish the form
Your forms work seamlessly with Hushmail email, allowing your clients to do everything in one place. There’s no need for your client to download and attach files or start a new email. You can be assured that your clients will have an easy time signing and returning a completed form, which will arrive with an attached PDF that you can upload to your EHR or billing system.
How to create a form in record time using Hush Secure Forms
If you have a simple form needing only an e-signature, the process of setting one up shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.
- Click on the form header and give your form a title. You can drag and drop additional headers into the form, or, if you’re not concerned with formatting, you can eliminate extra steps by copying over the headers with the rest of the text in step 3.
- Then drag a Paragraph field into your form.
- Copy the text in your PDF that you want to include (including headers if you wish) and paste it into the Paragraph field.
- Format the text. This is the part that will take the most time. Make sure that you include breaks after headers and between paragraphs, and if there were bullets or other special symbols in the PDF, make sure that they are formatted accordingly.
- For a stronger bulleted format, you can drag and drop a Text list below the paragraph field. This is one extra step that won’t add much to your form building time.
- Fill out the right sidebar with your bio. If you leave it blank, this section won't show up on the published form.
- Add a Signature field.
- Send the form.
The above steps are a good way to quickly build a simple form, such as a consent form, that your clients can sign.
If your form requires additional fields, you can drag and drop Short and Long text fields into your form, then use the different types of fields listed on the left side of your form builder to make the form easy to fill out:
- Checkbox list
- Radio buttons
But this is for when you have a little time to experiment with design. If all you need is a consent form, you can prepare a simple form quickly so it looks good and collects the signatures you need.
Don’t succumb to the shortcut of sending a PDF. Building a form is worth the little extra time upfront, and your clients will appreciate the time it saves them.
Building a form is pretty simple. However, if you want to forgo the process altogether, we offer an affordable form building service that will take on the task for you. You can reach out to Customer Care to find out more.
Ready to start building secure web forms?
Setting up a virtual practice in a hurry might tempt you to cut corners by sending PDFs of your forms instead of building them with our form builder. Although PDFs might seem like a good shortcut, they can cause problems that will cost you more time down the line. Building a simple form should only take you a few minutes, and will result in a much more pleasant experience for your clients when they sign your forms.