Automated Capital Expenditures Workflow = Reduced Time and Effort to Executive Approval

May 22, 2018


Allegheny Health Network provides a broad spectrum of care and services to patients in hospitals, wellness

pavilions, urgent care centers, surgery centers, clinics, and primary and specialty doctor’s offices in communities across the country and around the world. Additionally, it serves as the clinical campus for both Temple University School of Medicine and Drexel University College of Medicine. AHN is committed to improving health and promoting wellness in communities, one person at a time.


Managing capital expenditure approvals can be a daunting task for a large organization—especially one with as many different physical locations as AHN. Many documents comprise the approval package, each providing one piece of information related to the whole, and approval signoffs happen at various times along the way to allow escalation to the next level. The paper trail can have many twists and turns and, without having one person dedicated to physically walking the package from approver to approver, can be hard to track and even harder to manage. To reduce the time and effort to approval, AHN wanted to implement a digital approval process that provided visibility into the approval status and featured a single repository for the approval package.


Using a combination of SharePoint workflows, custom forms and JavaScript code, i-Squared took a complex workflow diagram and implemented an automated streamlined capital expenditure approval process. Department managers start the process by completing a capital expenditure request form online and uploading the required background documentation. Based upon the selections made in the form, email messages and notifications are sent to the appropriate process participants containing instructions to promote or return the request. Links to the capital expenditure request form and documentation are included in the email message allowing the process participant easy access to the information.

The capital expenditure request form expands to display additional approval fields as the approval process moves forward as well as provides read-only views of the information submitted by previous process participants. Process participants interact with the form and documents based on an assigned permission level. The digital process captures names of participants, dates when approval tasks are completed, and current workflow status.

For executive oversight purposes, a dashboard tracks the progress of the request and displays the current review level and assigned status at previous levels. The approval process continues until final approval by the AHN COO or CEO is obtained or any authorized participant rejects the request along the way.

Business Value Derived

  • Visible approval status at each approval point providing real time status of the request

  • Ability to determine and resolve bottlenecks in the process

  • Increased efficiency without fear of documents being “lost in the shuffle”

  • Increased visibility of all capital expenditure requests

  • Reduced time to capital expenditure approval


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