If you work in the healthcare industry in a legal capacity your concerns on a day to day basis most properly include the following:
- Legal issues related to the commercial property you own or lease e.g ensuring these are kept up to date and attending to any infringements of these agreements;
- Ensuring insurance agreements related to your commercial property, the staff you employ and the work performed by your organization all offer full coverage and are kept up to date;
- Maintenance of the employment agreements of your workers and updating these according to updates in the law, salary requirements or changes in your organization’s policies;
- Keeping track of your workplace’s policies that dictate the way work is performed so that it is line with your organization’s mission, health and safety standards and the law and updating these as required;
- Retainer agreements - ensuring workers who are not employed by your organization but that are contracted to do work in law, as health workers or in another capacity have accurate and current retainer agreements and statements of work;
- Keeping all contracts for goods and services required by your health organization in good order and working closely with the procurement department to ensure the correct amount of infantry is purchased so there is no shortage and as little as possible excess;
- Responding to any allegations of wrongdoing by your organization, legal (e.g. litigation);
- Ensuring minutes of meetings you attend and for which you are required to report are kept up to date, acknowledged and signed by the relevant persons; and
- Ensuring all steps in processes requiring multiple documents or contracts are followed in a timely and methodical manner.
The issues you deal with on a daily basis in healthcare contract management are wide-ranging!
To ensure you stay on top of the issues you need processes for ensuring efficiency and security including:
- Keeping track of tasks;
- Prioritizing which work needs to be attended to first;
- A system that allows you to easily collaborate with your colleagues on changes that need to be made to contracts and/or policies and one that captures the discussions about these changes;
- A way of communicating updates in policies or working agreements with those affected i.e. employees and contractors and a way for them to easily acknowledge and accept these changes;
- A manner in which minutes of relevant meetings can be easily reviewed, amended as necessary and acknowledged by those in attendance (by signing);
- A system for easy access to any documentation you may be asked about or asked to produce if a dispute arises or litigation is brought about;
- A system that you can access from anywhere if you are working from home or traveling for business;
- Secure storage for legal and policy documents that may be sensitive e.g. employee contracts;
You may also be one of only a few people working in the legal department and this means that you need a plan and procedure for staying on top of all of these things.
So what is your current plan and process?
You may currently work with a system that uses the following:
- MS Word for drafting contractual text, minutes and policies
- Outlook or Lotus Notes email for communicating with your colleagues and/or counterparts and logging tasks
- Sharepoint for saving and storing contracts that have been signed in the past
- Docusign for signing the final version of electronically stored contracts
Or you may even carry out some of your work using hard copy files.
These systems may alleviate some of the pain, but why stop there? Think about it - if you can’t build an agreement internally and/or externally, then of what use is an e-Signature or storage platform.
So, if you work manually in all or part, you’re simply not efficient enough and you have no chance of tracking the process effectively as the process is littered with potential black holes. You can fill all those gaps with an end-to-end system that streamlines the process from inception to completion - putting a stop to endless negotiation and risk-producing errors. More importantly, you can have a system that can “learn” best practices and content so that you tap into your organization’s collective intelligence. Put simply, a true all-in-one platform may make your life a lot easier and smarter!
In addition to ensuring efficiency and security in the manners you require (as outlined above), this is what you should demand from contract lifecycle management system does the following and without hiring an army of programmers and consultants:
- Leverages data to facilitate negotiation with Predictive AgreementTM - http://blog.contractroom.com/stopping-redlining-in-its-tracks-how-the-new-wave-of-contract-management-software-is-reducing-time-spent-negotiating and http://blog.contractroom.com/how-your-purchasing-process-is-costing-you-more-than-you-think
- Facilitates multi-party drafting and multi-party collaboration -http://blog.contractroom.com/what-is-the-most-efficient-way-to-collaboratively-draft-with-multiple-parties-expired-tired-and-wired-methods-for-multi-party-drafting
- Simplifies processes and procedures requiring multiple documents and/or contracts - https://youtu.be/q7y-5EImtMI and https://youtu.be/M1FWvmE63hw
This is an example of how the “right” platform could be used for automating a fairly standard commercial contract - a Statement of Work (SOW): http://blog.contractroom.com/the-case-for-automating-statements-of-work
ContractRoom is just that type of contract lifecycle management software system, recently being named “Best Cloud-based Negotiation Management Platform” by Corporate America magazine!