How Aspen Medical Delivers Healthcare Services in the World’s Most Challenging Locations

To support a strategic growth plan that could scale staff expansion with the onboarding of new clients and projects, the healthcare solutions provider turned to Smartsheet.

Industry

  • Healthcare

Organization Size

  • Medium (50 - 999 employees)

Region

  • North America

Use Cases

  • Automation Features
  • Collaboration
  • Employee Onboarding
  • Enhance Customer Experience

“It’s saved us time, it’s saved us resources, and it’s also enabled us to stop focusing on administrative processes and start focusing on service delivery of care. Because at the end of the day, we do deliver healthcare, and the more you can get people focused on delivering healthcare, the better healthcare you’re going to deliver.”

Randy Cook, Chief Operating Officer, Aspen Medical International

When Aspen Medical International sets up a new healthcare solution for a client, time and efficiency matter — because that client may be in a remote African community, on an oil rig in the middle of an ocean, or in a war zone. The company specializes in providing healthcare solutions for clients including multinational enterprises, governmental bodies, and U.N. agencies.

Aspen Medical workers near a company airplane and ambulance

Photo courtesy of Aspen Medical International

This means providing everything from a single paramedic to complex clinics to airborne medical evacuations to off-continent definitive care. A growing part of Aspen Medical’s business is turnkey solutions in collaboration with specialists in security, operations, and insurance. Managing the details of staff training, supplies, procedures, and regulatory compliance accurately and efficiently can make a difference to clients’ life and health. Smartsheet helps Aspen Medical get those details right and communicate them across the world in real time.

“We always want to make fact-based decisions within our level of risk tolerance,” says Randy Cook, chief operating officer of Aspen Medical International. “And to be able to make a fact-based decision, you want to have the most up-to-date understanding of not just the environment that you work in, but also the operation as a whole. Smartsheet has allowed us to execute fact-based decision-making.”

In the past few years, Aspen Medical has reorganized to operate more efficiently and provide greater value to clients. As a result, a reduced number of people now work in the U.S. headquarters to support the efforts of 145 field workers throughout the world, most located in Africa and the Middle East. Tracking the work was challenging; the company had tried a few shared-drive solutions, using Word documents for one-off reports, but this made it difficult to search for key issues and keep up to date on the status of client requirements.

Aspen Medical workers load equipment onto the company's 1900c (ZS-TFZ) aircraft

Photo courtesy of Aspen Medical International

To support a strategic growth plan that could scale staff expansion with the onboarding of new clients and projects, Cook began looking for a project management solution. He soon found that Smartsheet provided the right capabilities without the complexity or high price tag of other offerings.

“Smartsheet is tailorable to anybody,” Cook says. “This is a platform that can allow you to instill workflow processes and grow those processes with your organization, rather than modifying your organization to fit a CRM or to fit a workflow execution platform. You can make the platform work with your organization and grow with it.”

Cook and his colleagues have set up standard Smartsheet project templates and workspaces that can be customized for each new client engagement. The project team has a single place to manage staff onboarding, travel support, HR, operations management, proposals and reporting, insurance, and more. Information can be captured and sorted in real time, without searching through a folder full of documents or reconciling multiple versions of the same information. The easy-to-use interface is simple for new hires to learn, regardless of location.

“As I onboarded the platform, I thought that one of my bigger challenges would be trying to remotely onboard people in different countries,” Cook says. “But I found that because the user experience, the user interface, and the functionality built into Smartsheet are so targeted to be just the features you need, people were willing and able to onboard with relative ease.”

Cook likes the fact that he can tailor reporting to worldwide staff and partners based on their roles and needs, without purchasing the expensive per-seat licenses that enterprise project management software often requires for even basic functionality. He and his team use the calendars and automated workflows built into Smartsheet to track progress against contract compliance and client deadlines, and can see at a glance which issues need immediate help from the U.S. office at any moment. This accurate view of each day’s priorities not only helps get the most important work done on time, it helps Cook forecast the company’s future needs and plan accordingly.

“Smartsheet has allowed us to manage to grow and continue operating at these levels of staffing,” Cook says. “We have full transparency now, and we can see specifically where our real pain points are. And that allows us to make better decisions with who will we onboard next, providing us a pathway for how we continue to grow. Rather than working in the dark and thinking ‘everybody’s overworked, we can’t keep up, I just need another body’ — now I know exactly what I need that body to do.”

Two Aspen Medical International ambulances

Photo courtesy of Aspen Medical International

Not only do Aspen Medical staff members take advantage of tailored reporting and real-time visibility into projects, but its clients do as well. Cook uses Smartsheet to create client dashboards that provide a complete view of the company’s performance on contracts and budget, which has boosted clients’ trust in its solution teams.

“Your client’s no longer asking for updates; they can see everything in real time, and it instills confidence,” Cook says. “The client no longer feels like they have to reach out and hope I’m going to share transparent information with them; I’m sharing everything.”

The dashboards have been such a hit that Cook uses them as a selling point, including a sample dashboard in each new-business proposal to illustrate what project tracking will look like. With the added assurance that the solution conforms to legal and regulatory requirements for privacy and health information management, the pitches make a dramatic impression on prospective clients.

Cook says one of the biggest benefits of Smartsheet is that it’s easy to access from virtually any location. Aspen Medical colleagues who travel frequently can do everything via the mobile app, from receiving alerts to entering new information and updates. Workers in remote locations can use phones, tablets, or laptops to access Smartsheet on whatever networks are available to them, with a consistent experience across devices. And because everyone can access information in real time, meetings have become more efficient.

“You no longer have to spend three-quarters of a meeting getting everybody caught up; now 100% of your time together can be spent finding solutions and making execution decisions,” Cook says. “If we're coming together just to spend two days or a day to get caught up, then already we're doing something wrong. Because if we're not caught up before we sit down with one another, fundamentally, something's broken and our decision-making capacity is diminished. Now that's no longer the case; now everybody's caught up, not just with the latest but down to the last minute, because everything is live. And that itself has saved us a ton in terms of work hours and money.”

One of Cook’s biggest surprises was the level of support he can access — from help articles and video tutorials, to his Customer Success Manager, to an active and engaged Smartsheet community

“Smartsheet is beyond a product; it’s also this collaborative community of people who really want to better digital transformation and digital workflows within organizations and processes,” Cook says. “It’s saved us time, it’s saved us resources, and it’s also enabled us to stop focusing on administrative processes and start focusing on service delivery of care. Because at the end of the day, we do deliver healthcare, and the more you can get people focused on delivering healthcare, the better healthcare you’re going to deliver.”