How This VP of HR Used Tech to Navigate a Healthcare Merger
Julie Berke

By: Julie Berke on December 3rd, 2020

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How This VP of HR Used Tech to Navigate a Healthcare Merger

Digital Transformation

Est. Read Time: 3 min.

In 2017, Kniché Clark, VP of HR Operations at Change Healthcare, was tasked with helping to implement a merger with the medical supply company McKesson. Dubbed “Change 2.0” by Kniché and her colleagues, the combined entity provides IT solutions to hospitals, doctors’ offices, insurance companies, and other healthcare-related businesses, with Change Healthcare’s products enabling different systems within the healthcare continuum to talk to one other. 


Kniché’s role already entailed supervising HR support for over 15,000 active employees spread across seven countries. To integrate staff from the merger into a centralized infrastructure while ensuring HR could continue to service employees’ needs and requests efficiently, she knew that outside solutions were needed.


“We were going through…the process of integration of two different companies,” Kniché explains. “With that, we also had some very specific timelines as to when we had to get certain systems set up so that we could operate independently of McKesson, the larger entity of the joint venture.”


Here’s how Kniché and her team partnered with PeopleDoc to ensure a successful merger—and smoother processes for HR. 


Facing a daunting task

Facing tight timelines, Kniché knew there was little room for error when it came to marrying the two companies’ different HR models. To further complicate matters, Change Healthcare’s existing HR file management workflow needed a major overhaul.


“We had a number of offices that were still strictly paper,” Kniché says. “Even as new hires were coming in, [the system was still] hard copies being stored in file cabinets.”


Kniché decided to seek out an HR shared services model equipped to centralize the HR department’s employee file management solutions. As luck would have it, a member of the employee relations team was already in touch with PeopleDoc in search of a case management solution to help manage and report employee grievances. 



Finding the perfect fit

Although Kniché was considering a number of solutions to improve her department’s workflow amid the merger, it soon became clear that PeopleDoc was the right fit. In addition to being the most cost-effective solution, Kniché found that PeopleDoc was uniquely suited to address her department’s needs. She loved that the case management solution offered flexibility when it came to creating forms, customizing workflows, and reporting on case management tickets. But it was PeopleDoc’s employee file management capabilities that really caught her eye.


“It was a document file management system…that really seemed to be built from the HR perspective,” Kniché explains. “A lot of the solutions we looked at in the marketplace were really built from the technology or IT perspective…so it came down to flexibility, as well as having a system that had HR in mind in its design and how it functioned.”


During the integration process, Kniché was impressed by how available and accessible the PeopleDoc team was. Implementing any new technology is a challenge, but Kniché was relieved by how smoothly things went. 


“We had a number of implementations going on at the same time,” she says. “But I would say the PeopleDoc one was the smoothest, all things considered. It wasn’t a huge requirement of our time…PeopleDoc understood we were under hard timelines, and they went above and beyond. They took calls from us late at night. We were able to get a solution up pretty quickly.”


Discovering a whole new world for HR

With the merger behind her and the new systems up and running, Kniché couldn’t be happier with the state of her department today. Tasks that used to take several hours now take minutes. New employee files are catalogued in a centralized employee file management system, rather than a physical filing cabinet. The systems’ search capabilities makes finding and retrieving files much easier. Best of all, the ability to design forms means Kniché and her team can get all the information they need to process a request upfront, without having to engage in a prolonged email exchange with employees.


“We can design forms… and can make fields required so we don’t have to ask for information that they left out,” Kniché says. “Rather than emailing things from this team to that team, it just comes in, my team does its part, and then you just click a button and it will automatically route to the next team and they can do their part.”


Kniché’s only regret is not going all in. When Change Healthcare partnered with PeopleDoc, the HR team implemented the new employee file management system for all new hires from that point forward. But the system is so successful that, looking back, Kniché wishes they’d gone all in and integrated the legacy files as well.


Her advice to businesses looking to upgrade their HR workflows? Take the time to consider everything you’ll need a shared HR solution to accomplish. After all, it’s often easier to secure buy-in during the merger or precipitating event, rather than a couple of years down the line.


“Step back and think about how [the solution] can be used and do that scoping,” Kniché says. “It makes things smoother if you think through everything you want to accomplish before implementing.”


Navigating your own merger or acquisition? Learn more about streamlining the integration and shortening time to value by downloading our eBook, HR’s Role in Mergers and Acquisitions.

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About Julie Berke

Julie Berke is the Customer Marketing Specialist for North America at PeopleDoc by Ultimate Software. She focuses on building loyalty and advocacy within the PeopleDoc customer community. Prior to PeopleDoc, Julie worked in digital marketing and media across various verticals. She graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S degree in Advertising and an outside concentration in Business Administration.