The last time you visited your doctor, the receptionist undoubtedly checked you in on a computer and electronically notified a nurse that you had arrived. When you got to the exam room, your doctor probably came with a laptop or tablet instead of an old-fashioned clipboard. When you got your bill a few days later, it might have come electronically, and you paid it online.
Healthcare has certainly entered the digital age, and with good reason. Doctors’ offices, dental clinics, hospitals, and other health facilities take on an incredible amount of responsibility. From caring for patients to billing insurance companies to ensuring patient privacy, there are many processes in healthcare that can be improved and made more efficient through modern technology.
Because managing contracts is a necessary part of business in health facilities, contract management software is truly an asset. Contract management software provides an easy way to create, edit, access, store, and share legal agreements.
Whether you are dealing with patient agreements, physician contracts, or vendor supply details, below you will find 10 reasons that contract management is a must for health facilities.
When working in a health facility, your workload is already full. Perhaps one of the best benefits of contract management software is the efficiency it provides in a busy industry. From creating the contract to archiving it once it is expired, having dedicated software makes every step easier.
Optional workflow tools allow you to set dates and send reminders, so everyone helping to create or review a contract can stay on task and within deadlines. Outlines can be used to keep everyone abreast of what needs to be done and when. These tools can also help all parties involved meet their obligations. And electronic signing means anyone can sign from anywhere, ensuring contracts are not held up based on busy schedules or long distances.
Contract compliance can be tricky. Sometimes, a party does not adhere to the terms or meet the conditions of a contract. Other times, contract compliance occurs, but it is hard to demonstrate. Contract management software can help improve compliance by providing easy access, analyzing trends, and reducing risk.
By using contract management software, health facilities can potentially increase compliance by up to 55%, according to Aberdeen Group. And increased compliance means less time and money spent on regulatory concerns like compliance audits and lawyer fees.
Using contract management software takes your agreements from hard copies that come with time and location constraints to a digital copy that can easily be shared and accessed. Accessibility for any authorized party means editing, reviewing, and adhering to contracts is easier than ever.
Remote access allows for simplified collaboration across departments in a large facility, network of providers, and beyond. Integration with project management software that manages the facility’s whole project portfolio can increase visibility for all stakeholders.
Contracts are very often linked with or related to certain policies and procedures. Incorporating these policies into a contract used to be providing hard copies or counting on everyone involved to know the policy by heart; now, contract management software can help eliminate some paperwork, save time, and ensure that policies and procedures are well-explained.
With or without an electronic policy management system, contract management software means a better understanding of complex privacy or patient policies.
Contracts in a healthcare setting are typically intricate, meticulous, and ever-changing. Whether you are working on a patient privacy agreement, a short-term contract for a travel nurse, or a supply contract with a food service provider, you want to be confident your contracts are accurate and thorough.
Starting from scratch with every contract could lead to costly mistakes or time wasted on repetitive steps required for every contract. Contract management software provides a standardized process and customized templates that save time and prevent errors. Using a template for all contracts throughout the facility also allows you to create a database for frequently used contract types.
As contracts are edited and conditions are amended, everyone involved needs to be made aware of changes. Using contract management software means every essential party has access to the contract at all times, but they likely won’t check the contract frequently for any changes. Fortunately, contract management software allows administrators to set alerts notifying everyone of any changes.
Having a digital and up-to-date version of a contract also means that users can efficiently search for necessary information in the document through filters or by keywords. That way, they can find exactly what they are looking for quickly and without thumbing through physical pages.
Sometimes, contracts go missing, which is especially troubling in the healthcare field where contracts often include sensitive, private, and even confidential information. Using contract management software means no more contracts getting lost in a pile of papers or ruined by a spilled cup of coffee.
Beyond keeping every contract safe in one digital place, this method of storage can also mean more secure storage for you, your patients, your vendors, and anyone you do business with. Features like two-factor authentication help guarantee that only authorized users are able to remotely access a contract, and a hierarchy of access ensures that each authorized individual is only seeing any portion of the contract that is relevant to them.
One of the most valuable features of contract management software is the ability to analyze outcomes and forecast outcomes for later contracts. This helps spot underpayments, identify issues consistent with non-compliance, and solve recurring issues that result in lost revenue.
This information can be used to better negotiate terms of future contracts, recognize advantages, and make more informed decisions about continuing relationships.
While contract management software helps save big bucks with future forecasting, it can also help you save on a smaller scale by eliminating the need for paper and printing services and archiving expired contracts digitally instead of on-ground in the facility.
Managing contracts digitally allows for integration with other software to manage customer relations, payments, policy, and other processes. Combining these necessary components of business enhances productivity and provides better service for you, your vendors, your contractors, and—most importantly—your patients.
In addition to streamlining your processes and ensuring that all contracts reach their recipients, contract management software is one way many healthcare facilities are harnessing their data to become more preventative. Technology is moving fast to make office processes run smoother and with fewer errors, giving administrators more time to look to their data and the future of the facility and make better decisions.