CRICO insures all Harvard medical institutions and their affiliates. Founded more than 40 years ago and based in Boston, Massachusetts, CRICO provides coverage to 26 hospitals, 14,000 physicians, and more than 300 other health care organizations. The CRICO board of directors is comprised of 40 directors who are committed to the CRICO mission of protecting providers and promoting safety.
Prior to implementing Diligent Boards, CRICO relied on disparate digital and paper-based processes that were resource-intensive and presented security challenges. The company’s disconnected processes also made it difficult to store data for easy search and reference.
Compliance Program Manager Jermaine Joynes’ priority was to implement a centralized, secure environment to house all board documents and data. “We want to make sure that our directors are well-informed and have the most up-to-date information,” explains Joynes. “With Diligent, it’s in one place.” Using Boards helps CRICO ensure the highest level of security and maintain the strict compliance standards required by insurance and healthcare regulations.
While board members and administrators quickly experienced positive benefits, the true test was CRICO’s ability to rapidly adjust in response to COVID-19. “Diligent has been a great resource in making sure that input is getting back to us as quickly as possible and that we’re able to cycle the information at a refreshed fast speed as it is constantly changing,” says Joynes.
CRICO initially used a legacy process that combined physical copies, encrypted PDFs and FTP sharing to compile and disseminate board books. Aside from being a hefty time commitment, the process also lacked a centralized information repository and fell short of frequently expanding security and compliance expectations.
“While the board’s ten committee meetings are held in the States, the board director meetings are often international,” he says. “Before Diligent, handing over binders to our directors meant there was a risk of the binders being misplaced or getting into the wrong hands.”
Because the company has volumes of data with varying sensitivity levels that need to be transferred between different institutions, boards, and committees, it needed a solution that could accommodate those partnerships and maintain the strong control that their data agreements require. In addition to the patient-related information that CRICO draws its data from, documents and discussions dealing with intellectual property, budgets, investments, audits, and other topics presented many potential opportunities for errors or mishaps.
Joynes says that moving to Diligent eliminated many of the data headaches the company was experiencing. “It’s actually made a simple collaborative space rather than drawing from shared drives and pulling attachments out of emails. It really has given a central location that allows us to immediately turn it over, present it to the necessary stakeholders, and also to have control over visibility,” he explains. “These were all things that were essentially manual tasks prior to our use of Diligent and it also resulted in the information sitting in multiple different pockets of locations, some of which more secure than others, some of which were accessible to some and not to others.”
With support from senior leadership who helped champion Diligent within the organization, Joynes led the initiative to strengthen the company’s security and compliance practices while moving their board management processes into a digital space. This shift also increased board efficiencies by ensuring directors could access up-to-date information anytime they needed it.
He notes it was Diligent’s flexibility and ease of use that made the onboarding process seamless for board members and maintained the meeting experience they were accustomed to. “Diligent has helped on many levels to streamline and raise efficiency for our general operations.”
With a fully digital solution in place, CRICO has been increasingly agile in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. In concert with the company’s strong business continuity preparations, Diligent helps facilitate remote board meetings, organize votes and capture proxies in a single, searchable information source. Not only does that improve compliance for documentation and retention, but it’s also been a tremendous asset for the legal team, who often need to locate historical documents or specific language captured in archived documents or meeting minutes.
Since Joynes expects no slowing of the exponential growth of information they need to transfer and work with, having the right solution in place is key for their overall governance improvement. “Modern governance is a multi-pronged system. It really is largely information-based, having a good control over the information that’s being shared, and also ensuring that the information is being maximized in its distribution, its accuracy and overall, its security,” Joynes says. “Modern governance was a goal we had for a long time, but really needed the right tool to do so. We feel we found it with Diligent.”