8 Excellent Ways to Start Automating Healthcare Contract Management
In healthcare, contracts are integral to employment, care transfer, technology licensing, experimental treatments, confidentiality, telehealth, and more. Yet managing them can be frustrating. Disorganized shared folders and drives, countless spreadsheets, overflowing filing cabinets with no labels – no wonder contract mishaps occur so often.
For over five years, poor contract management has cost companies 9 percent of their annual revenue. From start to finish, a single contract can consume 40.5 hours of your time. You simply cannot afford to dedicate an entire work week to one contract.
Fortunately, there is a better way – automated contract management software (CMS) for healthcare. A CMS can cut contract execution time by 90 percent. Imagine spending four hours on a contract instead of 40! Whether you are a decision maker or a gatekeeper for new software, automated contract management is crucial. Here are 8 ways a CMS can start automating healthcare contract management.
8 Ways to Automate Healthcare Contract Management
While automating healthcare contract management is obviously helpful, the concept can be difficult to grasp. Put simply, a CMS is like an entire healthcare team wrapped into one piece of software. Just like the people on your team, each role performs different functions to support the healthcare facility. Delegation frees you from menial tasks.
That begs the next question: What can a CMS automate?
- Contract Requests and Creation
- Contract Negotiation and Approvals
- Signing Process
- Workflow Automation
- Milestone and Obligation Tracking and Alerts
- Contract Compliance
- Progress Reporting
- Contract Lifecycle Management
Read on to learn about each area of automation. Even without a CMS, you can focus on each of these areas of contract management to increase efficiency.
1. Contract Requests and Creation
Legal teams can take many hours to create contracts and cost you hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Automating healthcare contract management makes requests and intake significantly faster and more convenient. With contract management software, your legal team’s time and effort is freed up to focus on more strategic activities like risk management instead of processing routing requests or contracts. Pre-approved clause language simplifies the process of creating contracts, eliminating the need to compose from scratch. A quality CMS also provides contract templates. Software cuts contract creation time to minutes and cost to near $0. Look for CLM software that doesn’t limit or charge you based on the volume of contracts you create and store.
2. Contract Negotiation and Approvals
Both parties in a negotiation want favorable terms with low risk. Depending on the complexity of the contract, the back-and-forth of negotiation can waste hours, days, or even weeks. With a CMS, you can approve, edit, or reject contracts more quickly without having to exchange the contract via email for review. Any contract modifications can also be done right in the software. A good CMS shows every edit, comment, and full history in real time and displays the contract versions it tracks.
3. Signing Process
Signing contracts in person is inconvenient – and, in the case of COVID-19, unnecessarily risky. And signing via wet signatures that require printing, signing, scanning, and emailing is a painful time drain. A CMS eliminates those issues. Electronic signatures enable people to sign from anywhere, anytime. No more scheduling meetings for witnesses or representatives at the same time or worrying about if your printer has ink. A CMS can even automate e-signature tracking and remind you to sign if you forget. Like a virtual assistant, software is both convenient and helpful.
4. Workflow Automation
Up to 30 hours of contracting time is spent on management and operations. A CMS optimizes workflow by applying logic to business rules you define. These rules automatically guide user and system actions so planning and execution take less time. The best software includes a drag-and-drop designer to help you create and visualize workflows quickly and easily. You can even assign specific tasks to any signee or user. Through the software, you can approve completed contracts and set up task notifications. A complete system helps your operations team understand their tasks and complete them more efficiently. Workflows are an excellent example of the benefits of automating healthcare contract management.
5. Milestone and Obligation Tracking and Alerts
In healthcare, missing deadlines and other obligations can have serious consequences. When you under-deliver on commitments, you might lose not only the faith of signees, but also the entire contract. You must meet milestones. Yet the more contracts you collect, the more complicated deadline management gets.
A CMS can automatically track contract milestones and send time-sensitive information to individuals for prompt completion. Some software even displays ongoing tasks and includes a calendar that sends reminders, ensuring you never miss another deadline.
6. Contract Compliance
Once a contract takes effect, you might wonder if you, signatories, and your employees are doing what you agreed to do. This is a valid concern. However, during contract execution, you should not have to micromanage. That is the responsibility of a CMS. Automation rules track obligations and send reminders for you. If agreements are not being met, the system will alert you. All compliance issues are tracked by the software to allow you to focus less on investigating problems and more on strategic actions. In addition, the previously mentioned workflows ensure your business rules are automatically and accurately followed throughout the life of the agreement, further increasing your compliance.
7. Progress Reporting
A CMS tracks the stage and status of contracts and reports results back to you. No more worrying over unknown completion times or who’s responsible for what – automation software metrics and real-time updates help you more confidently predict completion. Dashboards display entire reports in one place. Customizable reports are also helpful. Reporting ultimately reveals how you can improve the workflow process for even greater efficiency, enabling you to benchmark and track KPIs to optimize your business.
8. Contract Lifecycle Management
The best contract management software automates the entire lifecycle of a contract. This is called Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM). From request to creation to completion, you can negotiate, track, and report every step of the contracting process. You are in control. A system with CLM capabilities alerts you when the contract nears completion so you can wrap it up. This is the ultimate package with the most flexibility, reach, and power. When automating healthcare contract management, you will realize the most benefits when applying to the entire contract lifecycle.
Start Automating Healthcare Contract Management Today
In 2021, healthcare is overloaded with work. Time is one of your most precious resources. You cannot afford to skip contract automation – especially when manual management of a single contract can take a week’s worth of full-time work.
Contract Logix’s Premium CMS package is a HIPAA compliant solution that includes full CLM, meaning you can automate all 8 areas of contract management. It’s fast, intuitive, and secure, granting you time, convenience, and assurance that your contracts can be completed without micromanagement.