by Elliott Holmes, Software Developer, AssetWorks Risk Management Inc.
In the Claims industry, automating the claims management process has evolved from “How can we achieve automation?” to “When can we achieve automation?” Despite the desire to employ today’s industry best practices, many organizations’ processes continue to revolve around the use of cumbersome Excel spreadsheets, lengthy documentation workflows, or in-house manual data entry. These processes lead to less efficient management throughout the claim’s lifecycle. Which, in turn, results in longer open claim times, less accountability, and less accurate claim data.
Automation, however, focuses on eliminating that time-consuming manual work, the unwieldy spreadsheets, and the lengthy workflow challenges. It shifts the process to work with its users, rather than against them. This shift presents a wide array of benefits.
Automation Offers Better Data Access, Better Data Integrity and a Better User Experience
The first step to automation should begin with defining how the data is being entered, stored, and distributed to users. Many organizations rely on older, less efficient methods of recording claims information, such as filling out loss forms by hand or entering data through a claims interface on a siloed mainframe. Neither method is particularly user-friendly, and both lack accountability and leave room for errors to creep in, like typos and data-mismanagement instances.
But automating this process can not only save time and resources; it can improve the reliability of the data, creating a more complete depiction of a claims incident. By automating this process with a comprehensive Cloud-based risk management system, the tunnel vision formerly associated with working a claim vanishes. A user can readily view the original incident — the true cause of the claim — and other pertinent information. Suddenly, relying on a single mainframe screen to view siloed information is no longer a part of the equation. A risk management software system with claims capabilities can house and track the data you need through fields configured to the way you work. It can help improve the claims reporting processes by making it easier to retrieve data for a claim and view it in an organized, manageable format. It can track user updates so you’ll always know who updated what information and when. Additionally, your users can now better focus their energy on working the claims, rather than just entering them. Automation can lead to faster claim turn-around, more satisfied customers, better claim accountability, and an overall more optimized process.
An Automated Claims Management System Feeds Your Appetite for Productivity
With automation in your claims process, you eliminate the reliance on cumbersome spreadsheets and all the stress that comes with it. If you find yourself shuffling through ten different spreadsheets daily just to come to the same conclusion (that you don’t get paid enough for this), then automation might be the solution for you.
At the heart of automation should be a risk management solution with claims functionality focused on ease-of-use and efficiency, streamlining the way your organization works. At AssetWorks, we understand how vital it is for these processes to be simplified while not sacrificing your quality of work. An automated claims management process built around a single, unified software solution should not just take the place of those spreadsheets and other data management tools you’re currently using; it should add powerful functionality. This cohesive system should give you access to more (and more accurate!) data details via robust ad hoc reporting capabilities. This allows users to generate the reports they need, down to specific data filtering criteria. Users of the system no longer need to rely on others to deliver a report on claim losses for the last five fiscal years; it can be done by anyone with the right permissions, at any time.
The system ultimately should empower better decision-making and speed processing, leading to overall better workings of a claim. This then leads to more efficient data capture, reduces over-due Open claims, and serves as a centralized tool for claim reporting purposes, improving internal and external communications. With claims automation, you increase your risk management department’s appetite for productivity.
Automation Frees You from Painful Paperwork and Processes
Another thing to look forward to when you automate claims management is drastically cutting back on lengthy documentation workflows and processes. Long-gone are the days of utilizing an entire file cabinet for 20 claims. Today’s techniques promote a paper-free, all-electronic approach. How does this work? Through a configured claims management solution, documentation is not only tracked but encouraged at the claim level. While past processes may have also been tracked at the claim level, the difference here is in how users can access their data. For instance, you can view a past claim and see who worked it, when it occurred, and any related documentation. No need to track the claim down in a mainframe system or manila folder, and rifle through a stack of papers to view the damage that occurred to, say, a vehicle. The improved process allows users to track and record the forms, photos, and any other necessary documentation for that claim alone, saving time and money. More importantly, you gain the security of knowing where everything is if you need to reference it again.
Choose claims software with a member portal, and you can empower partnered TPAs, brokers, and even claimants themselves to self-report their claims. Removing these tasks from the workflow frees claims adjusters to work on more claims in a shorter amount of time. Automation also lets users define the best management practice that suits them and their department. With more automation and fewer time-consuming, repetitive tasks, users have more time for higher-level strategy, like business planning and optimization — and that time is invaluable to your business evolution and your bottom line.
Automation Opens Up Opportunity
Automating the claims management process is an important best practice within today’s claims industry. When working claims, time is always of the essence. By streamlining the methods for data entry, eliminating burdensome, error-prone spreadsheets, and by improving the claim documentation process, you can ease time-consuming tasks, improve efficiency, enhance service, and stay competitive.
About the Author
Elliott Holmes is from Raleigh, NC. When he’s not busy working as a Software Developer for AssetWorks, you can usually find him at a local brewery consuming Packer-related media, hanging out with friends, or playing video games.