The electronic signature at the Medical University of Graz

The electronic signature at the Medical University of Graz
15 Jul 2020

A room with a view


The Medical University of Graz works with MOXIS in contract management. The focus is on employment contracts with teaching staff.

Porträt von Sabine Suppan
Sabine Suppan
The office tower directly on the river Mur in Graz is a little inconspicuous. The office of Sabine Suppan is located on the top floor, offering a first-class view over the city. As head of IT and director of the organisational unit ‘Information Technology and Digitisation’ at the Medical University (Med Uni) of Graz, she needs to keep a clear view as well. “The view here is beautiful. Unfortunately, I rarely get the chance to have look out of the window.” No wonder: The team of the organizational unit ‘Information Technology and Digitization’ offers an extensive technical infrastructure for the entire university. With more than 2,500 employees and over 4,000 students, Sabine Suppan’s team never gets bored so quickly.


Security and transparency

“One focus of my job is to look for new, efficient solutions together with my team and to optimize individual processes over and over again,” says the technician. One component of this digital optimization strategy is MOXIS. The possibility of qualified electronic signatures solves several tasks for Med Uni. First of all, there is the decentralised structure of the faculty, which is spread over various locations in the city of graz until the new building “MED CAMPUS 2” is completed in 2022. ”For some time now, we have been facing the challenge of documents being passed on via internal mail or courier services – and sometimes being even lost. Digitizing these channels minimizes the susceptibility to errors and creates more security and transparency,” Suppan says.

The employment contracts with the teaching staff describe a somewhat different dimension, since this clientele is distributed throughout the state of Styria. Among them are registered doctors, who often only have a small teaching assignment. So far, many of them have appeared personally in the office building by the Mur river to sign their employment contracts. “Our spectrum in contract management is enormously broad. Thanks to the possibility of the electronic signature, the time and effort required for signing has decreased significantly,” explains Sabine Suppan. “We can now do it from anywhere.”

Contract mail by the bucket

The teaching volume ranges individually from five hours per year to the full capacity of a university professor. With 1,000 external lecturers, the contracts add up. The number of contracts to be signed per year is outlined by Sabine Suppan as follows: “In times when everything was still done by mail, envelopes were sent by the bucket. The high frequency in our contract management is due to the fact that the lecturers receive their contracts each semester. And each time a contract is issued, a new process has to be started.” The analogue way means a real Herculean task twice a year – not least because the entire curriculum of Med Uni depends on valid employment contracts.

The MOXIS project was launched in 2017 and was initially prepared in small project groups. Since 2019 the contracts are signed digitally. The team of Sabine Suppan is already planning the further internal roll-out of MOXIS. “Next, the rectorate and the organisational unit ‘Law and Risk Management’ will be equipped with the option of digital signing. That is where the mass of contracts between Med Uni and the individual research institutions eventually accumulate.” Students should also benefit from the electronic signature, for example when it comes to the recognition of degrees.

Neuer Med Campus
In 2022 all departments will move together, including IT.

Goodies to take away

For the moment, Med Uni will continue to offer the possibility of signing by hand. Sabine Suppan, however, considers this to be a phase-out model, she rather sees a growing acceptance: “It is our experience that all those who are granted the option of remote signature will use it beyond the university: submitting invoices to the health insurance company, login to the online portal of the tax office or using other eGovernment services – all this is possible with the electronic signature, regardless of location. These are goodies that people can take away,” says the IT manager happily. If everything goes according to plan, she might even have a chance to enjoy the view from her office in the inconspicuous high-rise building on the Mur river in between.