Using a RMIS to merge maintenance logs with claims data

  • Tracking maintenance activities can create a clear snapshot of the goings-on at a property or work site.
  • Analyzing maintenance logs and incident reports concurrently can help you spot trends and anticipate risks.
  • Managing these activities in a RMIS allows you to analyze data from multiple departments or disciplines and avoid knowledge “silos” in your organization.

Property maintenance and inspections don’t just protect a property. They are key elements of your risk management strategy—aimed at protecting employees from getting hurt, as well as reducing related workers’ compensation claims and litigation.

And while doing appropriate maintenance—from cleaning floors and repairing light fixtures to carefully storing flammable materials and fixing handrails—is important, true power comes from tracking these activities and then determining if any correlations exist between injuries and maintenance activities or lack thereof.

For example, by reviewing incident data alongside your organization’s service and maintenance logs, you might discover slip and fall accidents are occurring more frequently in a particular location only for a brief period that just so happens to coincide with the mopping schedule. As a result, you might ask questions like: Is there increased traffic just after that period? Can the schedule be changed? Is proper signage being posted?

Such a scenario might sound simplistic with easy-to-find corrective actions. However, accessing such information in a way that tells the whole story of your risk profile can be complex, especially if the data is locked away in spreadsheets or paper files that don’t “talk to each other” and is housed in departments that don’t interact.

Risk management and claims management software can help guard against data silos, though. Highly configurable RMIS platforms will allow organizations to set up portals whereby individuals with maintenance duties can submit their information without even needing additional RMIS user licenses.

Maintenance data from the portals can then be pulled into the system with other risk management and claims management data to offer a rich picture of how any of your locations are performing. Organizations can even create a site survey “score” that serves as a threshold for whether a location is meeting performance goals.

If a location’s score falls beneath that threshold based on data input around maintenance activity and injuries, workflow features in the RMIS can then trigger corrective action assignments to pre-determined individuals throughout the organization.

Don’t feel overwhelmed by generating the content a RMIS needs to perform—like the myriad options for labeling a type of incident or maintenance activity. If you already have a RMIS, run reports to verify the most common user selections and consider doing away with the rest. First-time RMIS adopters can review claims data and maintenance logs to determine common themes.

Start simple with a few drop-down menus with pre-determined limited lists, accompanied by description fields. Review your results, solicit feedback from users and then add additional fields where needed. Encourage adoption by offering a simplified format that is user-friendly—and takes less than five minutes to complete.

RMIS providers experienced in your industry should be able to ask informed questions about your workflow and other business needs to help build your system. Additionally, a flexible enough system will allow you to make changes as you go. In fact, your process should grow with your use of the system. You shouldn’t have to undergo costly or time-consuming updates as you refine your workflows.

In conclusion:

Preventing injuries is the best way to reduce workers’ compensation claims and related litigation. Find ways to better analyze your data so you can better understand and reduce your total cost of risk.

It’s also worth mentioning that if you are able to document corrective actions you’ve taken to reduce the likelihood of accidents based on this type of analysis, the likelihood of punitive settlements related to any litigated claims could also be reduced. Using a modern RMIS can help you to achieve these goals.

For more information on how analytics can help employers get ahead of workers comp claims, download the whitepaper.