There are many problems associated with manually managing healthcare contracts. As well as increasing cost, this kind of approach can enhance liability, lower revenue, and even cause negative experiences for both patients and staff.
Compared to contract management software, manually managing contracts is considered outdated. It usually causes difficulties with compliance, is time and resource-intensive, insecure and inefficient. It is not the best way to manage contracts which are high in value or complexity.
The COVID pandemic has brought fresh challenges as far as managing healthcare contracts is concerned. Nevertheless, these challenges have helped expose inefficiencies with existing processes.
Healthcare organizations are increasingly being faced with tighter margins, which has resulted in a shift from one type of contracting model to another. Nevertheless, some organizations still insist on using manual contract management, even when they are dealing with thousands of different agreements. Clearly, there is a need for organizations to utilize a more up to date solution, especially during these unstable and unpredictable times.
6 Reasons why Healthcare Organizations Should Switch to Automated Contract Management
- All Contracts are Stored in a Secure Repository It’s safe to say that healthcare organizations deal with a lot of paperwork. Just consider all the employees, vendors and contracts they will have to manage! Events such as COVID have seen more and more people working remotely, and with this, manual contract management has become increasingly obsolete. With contract management, organizations can store documentation digitally, using web-based repositories. This has allowed healthcare organizations to store all their contracts safely, enabling staff to find what they need quickly, track approval status and collaborate when necessary. Staff who have to work remotely are still able to store and recover documents and contracts thanks to a central repository.
- Ability to Search, Report and Track Contracts Contract management software provides everything needed to track and report on contracts, including analytic and financial tools. Because these systems enable audit trails, all login attempts can be tracked, along with changes in data or information which has been viewed. Time and date stamps are also visible, enabling senior members of staff to view who made what changes. These tools allow for better oversight and control of contracts while sharing insight into how specific members of staff perform. Spend management features are also built into these platforms, like budget and price tracking. Line items can also be tracked, which includes their vendor-related costs as well. Organizations can also manage important dates using budget alerts which are part of the vendor management tools available.
- Advanced Reporting Features Contract management systems enable users to produce ad hoc reports for many different things, like financial commitments or upcoming tasks. Reports can easily be exported to spreadsheets, documents or PDFs, whilst the online report feature allows for full configuration of the report layout and which information is included. Financial information can also be fully tracked, and searching and reporting are additional useful features. All content changes, as well as spending and payments, can be tracked in one web-based interface.
- Better Compliance Management Compliance auditing and reporting features allow healthcare organizations to see all contract relationships across different entities and businesses. These in-built features ensure that things like compliance standards, regulatory, legal, and HIPAA requirements are being conformed to. Some platforms also work in sync with OFAC search databases, checking things like company, vendor and employee data. This is useful to see whether any search entries have been included in the official OFAC national sanctions list. Critical analysis snapshots can also be determined for different staff, companies and vendors. Full compliance can be achieved for healthcare organizations, despite the current circumstances with COVID.
- Workflow Automation Manual contract management is notorious for being time-consuming and a leading cause of errors in the contracting process. By automating this process, users can benefit from features like unlimited reminders and notifications, plus fewer bottlenecks.Processes are highly user friendly, including audit trails, process management, reporting and analytics, as well as user-defined fields. All stages of the contract lifecycle can be monitored, which has benefits for approval oversight and negotiation. Renewals and auto alerts enable a better meeting of important dates and milestones.Employee accountability and vendor management are improved, and more value can be taken from contracts.
- Lifecycle Management from Start to Finish Contract management for healthcare both automates and centralizes the management of agreements, contracts, vendor commitments and obligations from initial request through to renewal.Health organizations can have a full view of all contracts, making sure that anything essential is not missed. This is thanks to all the important features within the software itself, including writing and review, field tracking, alerts and notifications and risk management.Contract management software features a user-friendly interface and good integration with many other applications. In particular, the AI features are useful in both vendor and contract management. Contract management software also includes a whole host of other valuable features, like contract automation, pre-approved clauses and templates, contract negotiation, approval and collaboration, electronic signing, and tools for compliance, renewal and obligations.
Contract management software helps healthcare organizations save time, money and delays, and enable them to allocate resources better.
Benefits of Using Contract Management Software for Healthcare Contracts
As more and more staff within healthcare settings are working remotely, these types of organizations have had little choice but to upgrade from manual contract management to automated contract management software. There are lots of advantages to doing this.
- Contracts can be tracked more easily. Information is quicker to find, and contract management software is safer than manual management.
- Tracking, reporting and auditing are better. Managers have better control and oversight of contracts, while it’s easier to garner staff performance. Spend and line cost can be closely monitored, while budget alerts allow better tracking of important dates.
- Ad Hoc reports can be compiled easily, and exported into a myriad of different formats. Report layout can be fully configured, financial information can be easily tracked, and all information within a contract is searchable. Spending, payments and content edits can be tracked in one location.
- All relationships within a contract are visible across all entities and business units.
- Maintaining compliance is more manageable, and regulatory and legal matters can be managed more easily. Critical analysis snapshots can be taken for companies, staff and vendors.
- Staff benefit from unlimited reminders and notifications and fewer bottlenecks occur. The interface is user friendly, and users can define their own fields, whilst also monitoring all stages of the contract lifecycle. Better negotiation and oversight can be achieved, and important deadlines and milestones can be better managed thanks to auto alerts and renewals. Employee accountability and vendor management are improved and high-value contracts can be closely monitored.
- Contract management software integrates easily with other applications. Staff save time thanks to pre-approved clauses, templates and negotiation features. Approval and collaboration are easier, and eSignature saves time.
Overall, contract management software helps to save time and money, allowing a better allocation of resources, and fewer delays.