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Searching for a critical email, multiple browser windows open, bills to review, reports to write, lawyer and medical professional consultations, voice messages that came in while on other calls. It’s all part of the daily routine for claims adjusters. Add outdated claims management software, disparate systems, and manual or paper-based processes to the mix and productivity can suffer. The work backs up. In some cases, the potential for burnout is all too real.

“Adjusters normally deal with a high volume of cases, and each case can be emotionally draining,” writes Katie Dwyer in the January 2018 Risk & Insurance article Improving the Claims Experience. “The customer on the other side is, after all, dealing with a loss and struggling to return to business as usual.”

“At some TPAs,” adds Dwyer, “adjuster turnover can exceed 25%.”

Burnout leads to the costs associated with hiring and training new adjusters. And the potential impact of burnout grows in scope when one considers the looming recruitment crisis.

“One of the biggest challenges facing the claims industry is a growing shortage of talent,” explains Scott Rogers of Sedgwick, who spoke to Dwyer for the article. According to Rogers, the shortfall is a result of “a combination of the number of claims professionals expected to retire in the coming years and an underdeveloped pipeline of talent in our marketplace. The lack of investment in ensuring a positive work environment, training, and technology for claims professionals is finally catching up to the industry.”

Unfortunately, there are no simple solutions. However, for organizations still using outdated, legacy claims management platforms, taking a close look at the adoption of an integrated, cloud-based claims management system might play is a first step in addressing some of the day-to-day challenges faced by claims adjusters.

A system that combines workflow automation tools with all of the functionality needed for end-to-end claims adjusting can contribute to improving process efficiencies and, hopefully, reducing the levels of stress that lead to burnout.

How many systems must your adjusters access when working a claim?

A 2017 Property and Casualty 360 article that examines the day-to-day activities performed by auto claims adjusters emphasizes the importance of staying organized. Specifically, this means reducing the number of activities that contribute to wasted time.

In some cases, these may seem like a given. “Have a proper filing system so you don’t misplace documents, which will slow down your efficiency,” suggests the article. While an industry-wide emphasis on moving towards paperless document management has been underway for a long time, that doesn’t mean files aren’t spread across systems, buried in email inboxes, or saved in folders on network drives.

An Insurance & Technology article puts it this way: “For insurance adjusters, one painful reality of their job is the need to switch between multiple software systems in order to find all the relevant information on a specific claim. It’s critical to have all pertinent data in one spot to reduce and/or eliminate this quest for data.”

How many manual activities required of adjusters can be eliminated?

Integration of data into a single claims management system also opens up the potential for using automation to eliminate manual processes and workarounds that can have a negative impact on adjuster productivity, lengthen the workday, and add to levels of stress.

For example, for workers’ compensation adjusters, rekeying data into state forms for submission to work comp boards or industrial commissions is duplicative and can lead to an increase in errors and associated costs.

Workflow tools can free staff from repetitive, time-consuming activities associated with claims management, and can automate processes, standardize procedures, and increase efficiency from claim inception to final payment.

Do less experienced adjusters need help prioritizing claims and making informed decisions?

Integrated analytics and benchmarking can provide insights that can be used to identify claims that require prioritization and help adjusters make informed decisions. The problem, of course, is that there is often a steep learning curve for newer adjusters.

Traditionally, with experience came knowledge of the details that indicate a claim may result in litigation or the most effective methods of returning an injured employee to work. While no substitute for the experience that comes with years of working claims, benchmarking and integrated analytics can help.

“Claims-management knowledge no longer resides only with veteran adjusters,” points out Roberto Ceniceros in Younger, inexperienced adjusters slowing closure of work comp claims today, “it's embedded in best practices and technology, such as predictive analytics tools, that help less-experienced workers perform the job.”

Integrated benchmarking and analytics can make it easier to gauge where a claim stands when compared to similar claims in the system. They can also help to provide a deeper understanding of what is occurring and offer the means to take action early on so that problems can be reduced or eliminated.

One example of a third party integration that Origami leverages is Official Disability Guideline's (ODG) return to work guidelines. This integration allows workers' compensation adjusters to see the ODG data highlighted right inside the web app, allowing adjusters to see return to work benchmarks based on the diagnosis code, and see high risk claims to more easily make decisions regarding intervention to reduce losses and decrease risk of mitigation. See it in action below.

How can Origami Risk help?

An integrated, cloud-based claims management solution that combines data consolidation, workflow automation tools, and intuitive benchmarking and analysis tools certainly won’t, on its own, solve the talent crunch. But it can help adjusters better manage the day-to-day activities required of them. It may also play a role in how claims organizations fare as they work to navigate the talent drought.

Origami Risk is a scalable, cloud-based platform that includes all of the functionality needed for the end-to-end handling of claims. Flexible data integrations provide adjusters and claims managers with centralized access to the information that they need to do their jobs. Having data integrated into a single system opens up the potential for the automation of manual processes that negatively impact adjuster productivity and contribute to burnout.