Adding sketch elements to mobile forms to improve data collection

Screenshot of drop-down menu and sketch element

Loss reduction efforts and improvements in safe workplace behavior require the cooperation of everyone in an organization. Risk managers can encourage enterprise-wide participation in the collection of critical risk and safety data by making it easier for employees to report accidents and near misses. Providing users with the ability to capture this information from mobile devices increases the likelihood that incidents are reported quickly and accurately, regardless of where they occur.

Because the details of an accident or near miss can be difficult to fully describe using words, allowing for incident reports to be supplemented by attached files is essential. Yet even these data elements can fail to provide clarity in relation to the motion of vehicles, the sequence of events, or the intended area of focus within an image. For this reason, Origami Risk provides mobile app functionality that allows for the annotation of attached diagrams to ensure that risk managers and safety professionals have access to details they would not have had otherwise.

Using the Mobile Forms App to Gather Structured and Unstructured Data

Getting easy-to-use tools into the hands of front-line users is essential to widespread adoption of solutions for capturing data that can help identify, analyze, and correct hazards. Origami Risk mobile forms, when downloaded to a mobile device, provide users with the ability to capture incident and near miss details when an internet connection is not available.

While most of the data entered into mobile forms is “structured” (for example, names, dates, codes), by allowing users to include “unstructured” elements such as diagrams and photographs, an additional level of detail is immediately available to risk managers. The added ability to annotate unstructured data elements further enhances their usefulness as a reference for risk managers as they seek to better understand what occurred and take the actions that are most likely to prevent future occurrences.

How Sketch Elements Work

A client system administrator can—on their own or with the help of an Origami Risk service team member—add to the system the diagrams that will be available in each mobile form. Sketch elements can be set up to load dynamically based on an option selected. For example, by indicating that an accident occurred at a T-intersection, the appropriate diagram will load. This eliminates guesswork on the part of the user and speeds up the data entry process. These elements can also be set as required to ensure that users supplement a submission with a sketch.

Users granted security access to a mobile form can open it using the Origami Risk Mobile Forms app from a phone or tablet. Data can be entered into form fields, even when an internet connection is not available. When a user selects a response in a field associated with a sketch element, the correct diagram displays. The user then clicks “Edit Image” to draw on the diagram using a finger or stylus. Upon completion, the updated sketch element is saved and attached to the associated mobile form. Information is securely stored until a connection is available and data can be submitted. Once the files are uploaded, they are stored as an attachment on the related record in the system (for example, incident, near miss, claim, audit, etc.).

Real World Use of Sketch Elements

In Origami Risk mobile forms, sketch elements are primarily used to capture the details of auto accidents. For these clients, that means a reduction in the use of paper-based forms to report accident details. This reduces processing times and speeds up the process of initiating reviews and investigations. Those who were previously mired in a cycle of scanning, attaching, and filing now spend more time focused on critical department objectives.

The use of sketch elements is not limited to reporting incidents involving vehicles. Some Origami clients are using the solution to add details related to workplace injuries. Others have put the solution to work in support of risk mitigation efforts. For example, when adherence to proper safety guidelines is assessed, a sketch element is used to collect the signatures of both supervisor and employee to verify that the safety review took place, results were reviewed, and any necessary follow-up actions, including additional training needed, were discussed.

Given the fact that using mobile devices is commonplace in every aspect of our lives, the use of sketch elements is completely intuitive. With the ability to add sketches, users are able to include details that might otherwise have been unclear or omitted. Risk managers and safety professionals benefit by getting more details that can be put to use to identify, analyze, and correct hazards in their ongoing efforts to reduce losses and improve workplace safety.


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To find out more about sketch elements in mobile forms and other solutions that can help you to improve your approach to data collection, complete the form below to request a demo of Origami Risk.