The AWARDS electronic signatures feature enables users to capture images of their signature and initials, and to use those images along with a PIN to sign progress notes, group notes, service plans, plans and reviews, discharge records, and "standalone" FormBuilder forms. Prior to electronically signing documents, you must set up your electronic signature information. This information, which is unique to you and can only be entered/updated by you, is maintained in the E-Signatures feature accessible from the user name drop-down in the navigation bar. It includes actual signature images, a PIN that must be entered each time you sign a note, and default settings that control the detail included in the signature.
NOTE: Each program can set its own electronic signature signing rules. Those rules, which impact who can sign documents and when, are created and maintained within the System Setup module. For more information, click here.
NOTE: Clients can also electronically sign progress notes, discharge records, standalone FormBuilder forms, and service plans. The signature setup process for clients with AWARDS logins is the same as that explained in this portion of Online Help. For clients WITHOUT AWARDS logins, please click here for information on e-signature setup.
July 2018 - Update on Capturing E-Signatures
When we originally released our electronic signature capture capability, we did so with signature pads made by a company called Topaz; however, after several years we found we needed to change direction. At the time, modern browsers were - for security purposes - increasingly locking out the different mechanisms Topaz used to allow their signature pads to access a secure web app like AWARDS. We worked extensively with Topaz to encourage them to use the same security framework for their signature pads as that used with AWARDS, but we were ultimately unsuccessful. As a result, in the December 2015 and January 2016 editions of FootNotes we detailed the end of support for Topaz signature pads in AWARDS.
As we moved away from use of Topaz signature pads for the AWARDS e-signatures functionality, we put our focus into developing and supporting touch screen capability in its place. Touch screen devices are a flexible and user-friendly means of signature capture that exist in numerous forms, such as touch screen monitors that can be retrofitted to existing workstations, tablets, two-in-one Windows and Chrome OS devices, and more. These different options support nearly all of the workflows and use cases that an AWARDS user might encounter.
We understand that in some instances agencies chose not to transition to "touch" signatures, and have instead been able to continue using Topaz signature pads beyond end of support. This has often required use of older browsers and plug-ins that are not as secure as their more modern equivalents, and which may also not be supported for use with AWARDS, ultimately impacting user experience. If your agency is actively using Topaz signature pads, we encourage you to take this opportunity to learn about the other options currently available to you.
We know electronic signatures are extremely important to agency operations and that any kind of hardware change can be a difficult transition, but we're confident that touch signatures will meet the needs of your staff and clients, and we have a variety of online resources available to provide guidance in the review and decision-making process:
E-Signing Options Film - A 5 minute look at commonly used hardware solutions for agencies implementing (or upgrading) electronic signatures functionality.
Getting Started with E-Signatures Guide - This document, while originally designed for agencies who hadn’t yet implement electronic signatures, can provide a useful refresher in regard to hardware and workflow considerations.
We're also happy to help at any point in the process, so of you have questions please contact the Foothold Help Desk or your Foothold Client Services representative for assistance.
The Electronic Signatures setup feature is available to all AWARDS users with employee logins. The following additional permission may also be needed based on the user's role:
E-Signatures PIN Resetting (only required in order to reset e-signatures PINs for users other than oneself)
NOTE: Permissions are assigned using the Permissions Maintenance feature. If you do not have access to that feature and need the permission listed here, please contact your supervisor or your local Help Desk for assistance.
Setting Up or Modifying Your Electronic Signature - Learn to configure and make changes to your electronic signature PIN, images, and default settings.
Frequently Asked Questions
FootholdConnect Event Recordings
NOTE: Recordings marked with a red asterisk (*) were made prior to deployment of significant AWARDS enhancements and do not reflect those changes; however, the overall content is still relevant and useful.
E-Signing Hardware Options (5 min) - February 2018
Join us for an "AWARDS Minute," focused on commonly utilized hardware solutions for agencies implementing electronic signatures functionality.
Electronic Signatures (52 min) * - November 2016
A comprehensive look at the electronic signatures functionality in AWARDS, from configuration and signing options, to the signing process itself.