Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta had a home-grown, inefficient contract review system. Document reviews were local with redlined documents being reloaded, and there was no version tracking. Notifications were generated via email, making it difficult to track the process, and the system offered no views that facilitated reports or detail level status evaluation.

The overall result was process confusion. Contracts frequently became hung up, with the result that 80% of contracts were completed in a costly, “expedited” status. Post execution, users had no easy means of searching and retrieving executed contracts, terms and expirations.

After a false start with an off-the-shelf system, the technical team began searching for a better solution. “Abel Solutions had a very strong reputation around Atlanta as SharePoint experts,” says Kin Chan, Children’s Manager of Application Development, “So we chose them to make a presentation.”

Abel recommended Children’s implement SharePoint 2010 for its superior document management and retrieval capabilities, and that Children’s have all 10,000+ of its historical documents scanned to create a complete, searchable archive of past and present documents.

The firm also recommended Nintex Workflow 2010, a SharePoint 2010 add-on that enhances the platform with a browser-based, “drag-and-drop” workflow designer. Using Workflow 2010 would make it faster and less expensive to develop the custom workflows Children’s needed to effectively process their contract types.

“When Abel Solutions presented to our Legal department, there was such a sense of trust, and the presentation was so good, that it made everyone comfortable about working with them,” says Children’s IS Program Mgmt Team Lead Katy Clark.

The final system has seven different workflows, with contracts being automatically routed to the appropriate workflow based on user-provided input during contract initiation. As users complete workflow tasks, the results are updated, real-time, in the workflow dashboard, enabling visibility—and accountability—for the entire process. Completed contracts go to the contract vault rather than to the paper-based file cabinets used previously.

The efficiencies generated by the automated system have created a reliable, consistent and seamless framework—with targeted workflows—for all contract types. Whereas previously, contracts took an average of 30-45 days to complete, standard contracts now average 25 days to execution. Fast-track contracts take eight days, and expedited contracts can be completed in three. Searches for current and historical document information take seconds rather than hours—or days.

“Abel Solutions helped us understand the capabilities within SharePoint and Nintex,” says Clark. “Their expertise facilitated the decisions about which platform would make the most sense for Children’s.”