The evolution of case management

Appian Software Australia Pty Limited

By Luke Thomas, Area Vice President, Appian Asia Pacific & Japan
Monday, 27 November, 2023


The evolution of case management

The lexicon of the technology world is fast-evolving and sometimes misleading. Among the most misconstrued is the term ‘case management’. In a digital age, especially in an expanding technology market like Australia, it’s crucial to understand the scale of ‘cases’ and why upgrading to a modernised solution is not just a necessity, but an imperative.

Demystifying case management

In case management, the term ‘case’ isn’t limited to courtroom drama. At its core, it refers to a system built around a central theme — whether that’s an individual, location, event or object. While a case might be in reference to a patient in the healthcare system or a legal dispute, it could also be applied to a range of other situations such as government grant reviews, corporate inquiries and even logistical aspects like managing a warehouse consignment. Gartner says: “Work is case-like when each work item — each case — requires unique handling, involving complex interactions between content, people, transactions and business or regulatory policies in order to deliver an optimal outcome.”

Case management is a type of work that requires gathering and analysing data from multiple sources for decision-making, often without a set process or protocol. That said, it sometimes becomes challenging to decipher if an entity or a workflow is suited for case management solutions.

There are typically four types of case management processes:

  • Process to decision: This includes compliance with industry regulations, patient care.
  • Service requests: Examples are claims management and customer service issues.
  • Incident management: This can relate to facility management, HR grievances or emergency services.
  • Investigations: This category covers areas like insurance claims, financial compliance and legal investigations.

Is it time to embrace a modern case management solution?

If organisations need to make fast and effective decisions, a modern case management solution may be necessary. Here are some telltale signs that it might be time to use such a solution:

  1. Reliance on spreadsheets: They’re user-friendly but not scalable. Risks of errors and outdated data make them unsuitable for key operations.
  2. Repetitive and tedious tasks: Many of the most time-consuming tasks can be offloaded to AI-powered process automation.
  3. Excessive paperwork: Beyond its environmental cost, paper processes are slow and error-prone compared to digital tools.
  4. Connectivity dependence: With advancements in cellular technology, including 5G, there’s no reason for the Australian workforce to be limited by internet access.
  5. Swivel chair syndrome: Juggling multiple screens, systems or tabs to access information indicates a need for a centralised data system.
  6. Search overdrive: If people are wasting time searching for vital information across disparate systems, there is a lack of a centralised data hub.
  7. Limited case visibility: Difficulty in tracking essential metrics suggests compromised management efficiency.
  8. Fractured collaboration: Dependence on various channels like emails, calls or meetings indicates a lack of a unified collaboration platform.
  9. Compliance issues: Maintaining regulatory compliance is difficult without systematic data tracking.
  10. Scattered reporting: If extracting metrics and insights feels like a scavenger hunt every month, it’s time to rethink.
  11. Data silos: Difficulty accessing real-time data highlights the need for an integrated system.

Stepping into the future

If an organisation relies on outdated technology, spreadsheets or paper for case management, it is more exposed to risk. Given today’s surge in electronic data and the complex processes involved in case management, without the support of modern technology decisions may be based on incomplete or inaccurate information. Staff may be getting work done, but not in an optimal or sustainable way that makes the best use of employee time or resources.

When organisations rely on decades-old technology, important data often lives across multiple systems that don’t talk to each other. This leads to error-prone reporting and dramatically increases the amount of time employees spend searching for information. Siloed data creates a poor experience for both employees and customers because it makes data retrieval inefficient and slows decision-making.

To get the most out of existing legacy technology, organisations should look to case management solutions built on low‑code. A low-code case management solution pulls disparate workflows together to create a more seamless process. Compared to building with traditional coding, it can also generate organisational agility, as employees are empowered to adapt case flows and processes quickly when needed.

Adopting a modern case management system that uses AI and robotic process automation (RPA dramatically improves case management processes, productivity, user experience and staff engagement). Intelligent automation combines the power of AI and RPA with the power of workflow and low-code development in a unified platform to quickly deliver results.

Upgrading to a system that is evolved, integrated and efficient is not just a business decision; it’s a strategic imperative.

Image: iStock.com/ipuwadol

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