Case Studies

University of Massachusetts Memorial Healthcare System

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Redefining the Capital Management Process for Greater Control


UMass Memorial Health Care is the largest health care system in Central and Western Massachusetts, and the clinical partner of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. With over 13,000 employees and 1,093 beds, it includes UMass Memorial Medical Center and four community hospitals. In addition, the system includes a long-term nursing facility, as well as home health and hospice programs, behavioral health programs, and community-based physician practices.


Due to the extensive capital needs for UMass Memorial, the capital planning and management group faced several major challenges. With planned capital spend of approximately $40 million for new construction and renovation, another $40 million for Information Technology (IT) and Information Systems (IS), and $10 million for capital equipment, the lack of adequate management processes was a major hurdle to effective and efficient budget planning and management.

Existing processes used to track budgets and capital spend were manually intensive, requiring the UMass Memorial team to maintain separate project budgets, gather data using paper sources and spreadsheets, and consolidate the information into a master spreadsheet to determine the total capital spend on each project. Once the project became active, they developed another project budget tracking spreadsheet and issued and tracked purchase orders in a separate software system.


In order to reduce the time spent on manual processes and free up time to focus on project responsibilities, UMass Memorial developed a capital spend workflow – methodically documenting the most effective course for managing, approving, and tracking projects.

Creating a central repository for data was crucial. UMass Memorial wanted to input the data just once and then be able to manipulate it within one system for data management, tracking and reporting. After researching several options, UMass Memorial selected VFA.spendManager® as the budget, approval and requisition solution they required. The hosted, web-based solution provided a convenient and structured environment for all stakeholders to document, forecast and track activities related to capital expenditures with minimal implementation and training needed.


“As part of our capital spend workflow methodology, we developed flowcharts depicting the ideal approval process for a project and any related spending,” said Nolan. “We were able to incorporate those flowcharts into the automated requisition and approval process in VFA.spendManager, adding a great deal of authority and accountability to our process.”

UMass Memorial now refers to VFA.spendManager as its“internal clearing house,” because they use it to gather data from both the purchase order system and accounts payable system. This automated data aggregation eliminates the need for project managers to keep separate tracking sheets to manage the POs, invoices and the total spending for each project individually.

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