Get there faster when it matters.
The medical technology and safety technology specialist Dräger increases digital speed with electronic signatures.
Accelerate processes with signatures
Comply with FDA guidelines (21 CFR Part 11) and eIDAS
Implement into existing IT infrastructure
High usability for best possible acceptance and minimum need for support
Automates electronic signature processes including digital archiving
Customizes signature elements for the medical technology sector as well as eIDAS Regulation
Links Cloud solution directly to Microsoft and ServiceNow
Integrates intuitive user concepts into familiar software workflows
Dräger produces medical and safety technology that protects, supports, and even saves the lives of people in hospitals and at fire departments as well as in industries around the world. The company’s ventilators from Lübeck have been highly sought-after “technology for life”, and not just since the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, rescue teams in the US mining industry have long been called “Drägermen” or “Drägerwomen” due to the popular respiratory protective equipment “Made in Germany”. To ensure that processes are state-of-the-art, Dräger accelerates them with digital technologies such as the electronic signature solution Adobe Acrobat Sign.
Making compliance processes easier with electronic signatures
As a manufacturer of medical and safety technology, Dräger has to prove with many documents that the development and production of its devices meet all regulatory requirements. But it does not say anywhere that all records need to be done with pen and paper. That is why Dräger employees began searching for a digital alternative to traditional handwritten signatures, which in some cases are accompanied by lengthy process times and a lot of manual steps and paper consumption.
“Processes must be compliant but do not need to be complicated. Electronic signatures with Acrobat Sign enable us to do just that,” says Lasse Janz, Quality & IT Consultant at Dräger. He is part of a cross-functional multidisciplinary team of IT, legal, and quality management employees that has successfully transformed traditional document processes at Dräger with electronic signatures. They did this of their own because these digital enthusiasts didn’t like being thwarted by paper in the digital ages. The flexible structures at Dräger support employees collaborating in parallel to their main tasks to promote change projects.
The project team’s goal motivated them to find the best possible digital solution. They decided to go with Acrobat Sign, as it meets the important requirements of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is critical for Dräger.
What tipped the scales for the Adobe solution was the option to digitize many signature processes for common applications with built-in integrations. “Acrobat Sign is an example of how easy it can be to digitize processes. The integrated automation options with Microsoft Power Automate and SharePoint are important,” says Jan Lütgens, IT Expert at Dräger and another project team member.
“Processes must be compliant, but do not need to be complicated. Electronic signatures with Acrobat Sign enable us to do just that.”
Quality & IT Consultant, Drägerwerk AG & Co. KGaA
Managing electronic signatures at the press of a button
Since March 2019, Acrobat Sign has streamlined signature processes at Dräger. The initial achievement for the project team was its use in the calibration laboratory, an important element to correct manufacturing. The laboratory checks and adjusts measurement technology that Dräger uses to ensure vital medical and safety technology products function according to standards. During the test procedure, the measuring devices cannot be used in the factory building.
The result: “Processing time per signature process was significantly reduced — and measuring devices are now available faster – an added value for our customers,” says Jan Lütgens. “In addition to the fact that documents can be more easily found and browsed in a digital archive, the costs for storage, paper, and printing were also reduced. What has increased, though, is satisfaction among colleagues in the calibration laboratory. They now receive feedback and approvals within a few hours.” The reason is that the processing time no longer depends on the location of the laboratory management for the approval.
In light of the positive experiences in the calibration lab, the e-signature solution was quickly introduced in additional areas at Dräger. A significant advantage during rollout are the integrations, for example for SharePoint Online and Power Automate. As a result, Dräger can replace any handwritten signature fully with an electronic signature with very little effort. It is also particularly useful that digital archiving occurs automatically in SharePoint Online once documents are signed.
“Acrobat Sign is an example of how easy it can be to digitize processes. The integrated automation options with Microsoft Power Automate and SharePoint are important.”
IT Expert, Drägerwerk AG & Co. KGaA
Saving time and money
The use of the Adobe e-signature solution has digitized the signature processes of Dräger with measurable success. There are now more than 1,000 employees using the solution across all company departments. 60,000 documents a year are now signed electronically rather than on paper, as was the case previously.
“By using Acrobat Sign, we will save 360,000 sheets of paper and reduce the duration of a signature process by up to 80% this year,” says David Wagner, who supports the signature project team at Dräger as an Application Manager within the Automation Team. The calibration certificate approval alone now only takes three hours instead of 24 hours on average due to electronic signatures.
The solution was met with a high degree of employee acceptance from the start, as they could continue relying on their familiar workflows and start most electronic signature processes directly from the Microsoft applications they are used to. That seamless integration makes the e-signature solution intuitively accessible without the need for extensive training.
The digitization efforts proved to be particularly beneficial during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Open email, click button, sign. ‘Was that it already?!’ many asked with surprise. They are impressed that everything is so quick with Acrobat Sign,” says David Wagner.
“Open email, click button, sign. ‘Was that it already?!’ many asked with surprise. They are impressed that everything is so quick with Acrobat Sign.”
Application Manager Automation, Drägerwerk AG & Co. KGaA
Creating additional efficiencies
“Acrobat Sign is a powerful tool that has proven to be very valuable in a short time,” says David Wagner. However, he sees even more potential for Dräger. With the qualified electronic signature (QES), the manufacturer for medical and safety technology is currently implementing a signature version that places additional requirements on the identification of the signatory.
The associated higher level of legal acceptance also makes this solution suitable for documents that require a particular form or are of a highly sensitive nature. In this way, the digital solution could allow Dräger's signature processes to rise to new heights of efficiency in additional areas.