When the healthcare organization’s Staff Attorney started with the system, she relied on
manual processes to execute their contracts. “We were completely paper,” she noted.
”Everything was form based, including the signature process, and I would have to scan things
in if I wanted to use my computer to manage any contracts.” For her and her leadership team,
the ability to quickly locate and reference contracts was a top priority. However, in their mess, and a nightmare to keep up with anything,” she said regarding their contract process.
Unable to manage contracts with efficiency and compliance, she was tasked to find a solution.
Her key priorities were facilitating productive, on-demand contract management to replace
manual processes, save time, and increase visibility across the system. When it came time to
select a vendor, the focus on a smart, intuitive contract workflow tool drove their decision to
select symplr as their partner. “The team answered all of our questions and really came
alongside us to meet our specific needs.” Coming from a non-healthcare background, she was
used to managing contracts electronically, so “moving to symplr was easy and a streamlined
Time management quickly came into focus when transforming their contract management
processes. Even with a team of four, contract review takes up the majority of the day-to-day
process. “I read about 98% of contracts that flow through our organization,” she noted. “Just
today, I reviewed 10 contracts,” and the day wasn’t over. In her current workflow, there are 160
contracts pending, and with many contracts 20-30 pages long, efficient processes and instant
visibility into the contract library both play critical roles to keep the contract engine moving
SYMPLR IS LIKE AN FTE FOR ME
“When I sign in in the morning, I pull up my email and symplr, and symplr Contract is up all
day long,” says their Staff Attorney. For her and her team, symplr Contract is a project
management tool to ensure everything is moving forward with efficiency and compliance. The
magnitude and diversity of contracts that circulate through the organization is significant and
demands a centralized workflow where contracts don’t get lost in the shuffle. “The sheer
volume of contracts is overwhelming. I also review contracts that comes through supply chain,
and if I didn’t have symplr, it would be very difficult to keep up with the volume coming
through every day.”
A growing health system, the organization has expanded by adding a new freestanding ED
and a new cancer center, each contributing the number of contracts in their workflow. “We are
always buying new things, and the contracts that come through supply chain alone are
significant.” For her and her team, having one place to manage everything related to contracts
frees up valuable time. “Previously, I had 40 binders with thousands and thousands of
contracts that I would need to manually pull up to see a historical version of a contract to
understand what’s happened over the years. Having that right at your fingertips is so much
easier. I just look in the library in symplr, and it’s right there.”
When it comes to added value for her and her team, time-savings and organization are both at
the top of her list. She shared, “I save at least 10-15 hours a week since everything is in one
place, and I don’t have to track down contracts anymore. Having it in one place allows us to
easily control and maintain proper oversight.” With symplr, we’re gaining crucial efficiency
because we’re not working on three different contracts if we only have to work on one.”
Automating the contract workflow to decrease manual tasks means she can spend more time
on what matters most: leveraging her legal expertise to strategically evaluate contracts.
FLEXIBILITY IS KEY
With complex contracts circulating through departments daily, the healthcare organization
needed a flexible tool that could support contract management with nuance and adapt to
unique team needs. When leveraging symplr, “Anything related to what I’m doing, it knows
what I’m looking for. I can change the workflows and make it what I need based on the
contract type. The flexibility is key,” noted their Staff Attorney.
But what surprised her the most was the range of use cases beyond traditional contract management. Her team has even used it to manage project requests for the maintenance department. “Even if someone wants to change the flooring, we can do a project request and get approval. What it can do was unexpected. You can use it for complex contracts and for simple things too.”
FOSTERING A CULTURE OF COMPLIANCE
The health system has worked diligently to ensure all contracts go through symplr to protect
due process and visibility. According to their Staff Attorney, “If we have a contract, it has to go
into symplr so we can review, approve, and sign it. All supply chain, education, software, MIS
contracts, even if it’s a click bait/wrap contract, it still goes through symplr first for review and
approval before anything.”
For her, this standard process is fundamental to her daily contract queue as she works closely alongside materials management and supply chain to ensure compliance. Fundamentally, strong digital processes have transformed behaviors and driven governance across departments.
Centralized workflows served as a compliance mechanism along the way. “We had a lot of people thinking they could sign something themselves, but even if they had buying authority, this new process protects them and the organization.” “Now, the right parties see what is being signed and are the ones signing the contracts.
People don’t always know what they’re signing, and they could end up buying something they didn’t mean to buy.” Having the right professionals in the workflow protect the organization at large and
help avoid penalties down the road. This is especially critical when it comes to fostering compliance. “If someone is signing something that has a compliance component to it, the compliance department also reviews it to protect the organization. This is a great way to protect the hospital and staff,” said their Staff Attorney.
IMPROVING COLLABORATION ACROSS THE ORGANIZATION
When it comes to risk assessment, symplr Contract has supported transparency and
accountability for the organization. “symplr helps us complete risk assessments for anything that has a MIS touch to it. We can only do this because we have everything in one place. Now that we have it all in one place, the people who need to know can see what is happening and support the evaluation.” For their Contract Attorney and her colleagues, operating in silos is no longer the norm. Contract management is now a collaborative, accountable process with protective mechanisms guiding the review.
Processes that support a strong learning culture have also driven the growth in contract excellence and collaboration. “The tool gives me a chance to be interactive with other departments such as supply chain. I don’t have to give them as much feedback on contracts as I did before implementing symplr. They’re more proactive in their contract negotiation thanks to us collaborating,” she said. This learning environment supported by standardized contract Tools has driven an evolution from a reactive to a proactive culture in their contract management environment.
TRANSPARENCY LIGHTING THE WAY
In addition to supporting cross-functional teams, the benefit of having all contracts in one
place was also a significant benefit for the healthcare organization’s leaders. “The c-suite
knows what’s happening and they have access to department contracts so they’re not in the
dark. All the VPs are so much happier than when we were on paper. They have realized the
value and they’re very happy with it,” noted their Contract Attorney.
Ultimately, the need for transparency, reporting, and strategic contract management have
been particularly critical for their team in light of the current fiscal climate. “Especially now
when times are so difficult for hospitals, it is important to know what you’re spending. We can
easily go in and see if there are contracts we need to renegotiate and take action on. It’s all just
there for us to pull out of the library,” she noted. For the healthcare organization today,
contracts never take a back seat.
A PARTNER FOR CONTRACT MANAGEMENT
As a super-user of symplr Contract, their Contract Attorney highlighted the customer success
team as a key resource for her and her team. “They are just the best. Whenever I have need
anything or just to discuss anything, they are there,” she said.