Using Technology to Attract Talent

By Sharon Linsenbach  |  Posted 2008-04-24

Using Technology to Attract Talent

Englewood Hospital and Medical Center is increasing its ability to recruit and hire top physicians and slash administrative costs by implementing a secure, paperless enterprise document signing and management solution from IntelliSafe Technologies.

With five other hospitals within 25 miles, Englewood was looking for a competitive advantage when hiring new physicians, said Gary Wilhelm, the hospital's financial systems manager of management information systems. He said that typically, potential recruits would make claims about the technology and other benefits offered by competing hospitals.

"Strategically, physicians are trying to see what you as the hospital can do for them, but one key concern for doctors is ease of access and speed," he said.

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Being able to quickly and efficiently negotiate, manage and sign employment agreements, as well as quickly validate and assign practicing credentials, is a key differentiator, Wilhelm said.

"You can never take back your hospital's IT first impression on that doctor, and you don't want them to think, 'Same old story with the IT department, they can't even get my paperwork done and my network credentials set up,'" he said.

When a hospital 10 miles away closed, Englewood absorbed 200 employees, including about 100 physicians, Wilhelm said. Before the IntelliSafe Vault document management system was implemented, he said those doctors experienced on average a 12-day lag between when they signed their employment contract and when they were able to start work.

With the system implemented, Wilhelm said the lag time has been cut to a maximum of three days.

The IntelliSafe Vault system was developed using Microsoft Office 2007 and uses Active Directory and .Net to securely create, sign and store legally binding, authoritative documents, nondisclosure agreements and contracts in a completely paperless environment, said Peter Natale, vice president of product development and operation for Microsoft partner IntelliSafe, who designed and implemented the system. 

Using Technology to Attract Talent

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The documents are made legally binding through a combination of graphical signature representations stored in SQL and digital credentials and identity verification through Active Directory, Natale said.

Besides pleasing tech-savvy physicians, the technology has other benefits, said Randy Fusco, Microsoft's chief technology officer and strategist for its U.S. health care provider unit. Top doctors who are impressed with the ease of access and the shortened delay before they can begin work will recommend their hospital to peers and colleagues, Fusco said. There are financial benefits as well, since the faster physicians can get to work, the faster revenue is generated for the hospital.

There's also administrative savings. Englewood was previously spending about $300,000 annually on printed forms, Natale said. Over the next three or four years, the IntelliSafe Vault system will save the hospital just under $1 million, he said.

There are also positive impacts on patient care, since staff members no longer have to chase down lost or delayed paper forms, or manually track approvals, giving them more time to focus on patient care and accurately maintaining records.

In addition, the system includes functionality that eases HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) auditing and compliance by generating detailed document tracing.

"Auditors or administrators can use Microsoft Office to track exactly where documents and records have been and for how long, right down to the millisecond," said Natale.


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