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Use These Three Contracting Principles to Keep Contracts Compliant with OSHA and HIPAA

Use These Three Contracting Principles to Keep Contracts Compliant with OSHA and HIPAA

by admin
July 21, 2020

Compliance can be one of the worst nightmares for contract managers. OSHA compliance is something most of us have to worry about at some point. If you start adding HIPAA into the mix, it can be a nightmare. For example, what do your contracts say about who is responsible if a contractor’s employee is injured doing a job on your premises? Good contract management software can help. Read more about how our enterprise contract management system has all the features you need to manage every contract stage, including contract compliance. There are a number of ways in which ContraxAware can help you comply with OSHA, HIPAA, and other regulations:

Contract Standardization

Basic Contracts

When you first start using ContraxAware, you will be able to create a contract templates library. The library will contain all the standard contracts your company needs. Employees can pull up the right template for the type of contract they’re setting up, and the template will make sure they enter the right data.

Addendums and Product-Specific Language

These templates can be flagged for extra contract compliance, depending on the type of contract. For example, if you work with both healthcare clients and others, then you need to set up a contract template that ensures HIPAA compliance issues are addressed with healthcare clients. This could include provisions for security, a form for identifying approved contacts, and more. Standardizing your automatable processes helps with both contract management and contract compliance (which are two different processes).

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This contract system removes the need to worry about this and reduces the likelihood of a mistake when entering contracts into the system. It can then generate a contract that already has the correct language for HIPAA compliance, for example, or to make sure that workers are protected properly under OSHA. You can make these contracts an option in your library. Alternatively, your contract management software can automatically trigger the extra provisions when salespeople select the applicable products. Beyond convenience and the added assurance the right contracts have the right language, it brings these benefits to the table:

  • Lawyers only have to create and check the language once.
  • You can lock contract templates so that only a very limited number of users can edit them
  • Your legal department has complete insight into any modifications or redline requests.

By enforcing your already-determined language, the contract system both ensures that the contract is valid and saves a lot of time for employees. New contracts are generated, using merged data, in a matter of seconds and then automatically be attached to the contract record.

Contract Validation Rules

ContraxAware allows for specific validation rules to be set for each contract template. These validation rules prevent invalid data from being entered by users. For some fields, this may mean the use of drop-down menus to ensure only certain options are selected. Field and record-level validation will flag and inform a user if incorrect data is entered. These rules help prevent typos and simple errors, such as entering an email address as [email protected] rather than [email protected] (and thus causing important notifications to bounce). This will also minimize issues with address formats and consistency of information. An important part of compliance is reaching out to clients with updates at strict intervals. But if your information isn’t right, you could be failing and never know.

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The contract system will ensure that the incorrect data is corrected by the user immediately. It helps reduce the need for manual validation of data entry, freeing supervisors up to handle more important aspects.

Customize How You Protect Your Business

All of these rules are fully configurable. That means you can decide:

  • Which fields need to be a drop-down.
  • If any fields need to be cross-checked against other fields.
  • Which fields need to be checked for a valid email address, etc.

You may, for example, have a drop-down that contains all of your normal vendors, so all a user has to do is select one. Once you set up the system to fit your needs, it encourages data entry to be fast and accurate. Along the way, it helps train users to improve their accuracy. It also helps guarantee data integrity and consistency. Sometimes a data problem can be a contract compliance time bomb that becomes an issue weeks or even months later.

Signature Rules

ContraxAware also has systems to ensure that contracts automatically go to the right people to sign off on them. By using drop-down menus or even automatically inserting names (when the contract template requires it), ContraxAware ensures that all of the needed signatures are collected. Because ContraxAware handles digital signatures, it saves paper. Also our software stores the signed documents in a central, secure location. The software does not allow signatures to be edited. Also, it ensures, as best as possible, that the right people sign the contract.

Paper signatures can be lost or even copied. Secure cloud-based digital signatures reduce the risk of fraud. The system also improves employee accountability by helping you track everyone who has ‘touched’ a contract or document. The system sends notifications and reminders to make sure needed signatures are harvested.

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If a specific contract type needs, for example, to go back to legal for review, the system will ensure that it happens in a timely manner.

The “paper trail” is also an invaluable resource during audits. You can prove who approved or signed a document, when they assigned it, and who did and did not have access to any confidential attachments. Secure, cloud-based storage will always help you put the puzzle pieces together.

Build Your Contract Management System with Contract Compliance in Mind with ContraxAware

Compliance is always a concern, and worrying about compliance audits is normal. However, ContraxAware can help make sure that everything goes smoothly from the start. There will be no need to chase down somebody who forgot to sign a contract, fix a problem caused if an employee takes it on themselves to change language put together by legal, or fix an issue caused by a simple typo in a data field.

So, stop worrying about compliance. Focus your time and energy into more important things, like making sure employees have the tools to do things correctly — completely, the first time. To see how simple contract compliance processes can look, schedule a free 1:1 demo today.

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