Don’t Build Your Highway Without an On-Ramp: Electronic Forms and Process Automation

Authored by Carolyn Kane, Product Evangelist at Hyland

Imagine designing a super-highway that moves vehicles at top speed through rough terrain, eliminates bottlenecks and traffic jams, and improves the day-to-day efficiency of residents and businesses.

187_freewayonrampNow imagine that you designed this super-speed highway, but you didn’t include a way for people to access it. Your highway might be fast and efficient, but many travelers have to go around it in order to get to their destination.

In my industry, we call this a workaround.

This frequently happens to processes that still rely on paper forms or an unintegrated electronic form (like a fillable PDF that has to be printed or emailed). It’s like having a highway without an access ramp. People have to try to kick off that process in some other way (like scanning the form, emailing the form, or processing manually), instead of just hitting “submit” and knowing that their form is saved and the process is moving forward.

Creating on-ramps

Because OnBase forms are processed by Workflow immediately upon submission, they are the ultimate on-ramp to an automated process. No scanning or manual import is required, and thebest part is that they index themselves!

Fortunately, designing forms can be the easy part of automating your process, with a point-and-click designer for Unity Forms and Image Forms to make form creation intuitive, simple, and fast.

Thinking about access

Not everyone on the highway started in the same place. This seems obvious when talking about roadways, but with process automation you have similar considerations. Where should your users access the form to kick off a process? Allowing them to access forms in a convenient manner means less delays overall.

Depending on your industry, you may need to have “external” users fill out forms in addition to your own internal users. If you’re in government, education, insurance, finance or healthcare – really, any industry that works with the public – extending form access to users outside your organization will be very important to streamlining your processes. Fortunately, OnBase Forms can be accessed from a browser on a desktop or mobile device, so that they can be easily filled out and submitted anytime, anywhere.

Accommodating different types

Think about the different vehicles you see on the highway—trucks, busses, private cars, ride-sharing vehicles—they all have different purposes and slightly different needs. If you want to move the contents of your house, you want to use a moving truck, but if you are just taking your family to see grandma your hatchback will do just fine.

In the same way, OnBase Forms offer different tools for different needs. Unity Forms are the configurable option, offering no-code electronic forms with endless flexibility and dynamic behavior. Image Forms are designed to replicate a paper form, with users filling it out by typing instead of writing—with many of the advantages of Unity Forms built-in to improve the experience over paper. And HTML-based E-Forms offer the endless possibilities of a fully custom form.

A process isn’t automated unless your forms are electronic and integrated

Even if your forms aren’t paper, you may not be automating your processes as much as you would like. Downloadable forms and forms received by e-mail still require manual steps and unnecessary workarounds. For a fully automated process, you want to be sure that forms are integrated with your workflow so that processing can begin the moment the user hits the submit button.

Your On-Ramp to Complete Process Automation

Ready to pave your on-ramp to a super highway of streamlined data collection, workflow and overall optimized efficiency? Check out this forms management webpage detailing all things eForms, courtesy of my friends at ImageSoft!

We Want to Hear From You!

Are you building your on-ramp alongside your super highway (i.e., in the process of implementing various automation tactics), or will eForms clear the path to optimized efficiency for your organization?

Answer in the comments section below or on our LinkedIn page. We read and respond – promise!

 

Keep Calm: The Court Clerk Uses CaseShare to Handle It

186_keepcalmclerk“Keep calm” is probably the least comforting phrase to any court clerk trying to ascend a case to the higher, or Appellate, courts. And rightfully so – there are custom requirements to be met, volumes to be assembled, files to be named and pages to be ordered, signed, sealed and delivered. Even after that laborious process, the file will likely still bounce back for unmet requirements, missing or improperly ordered papers, etc. Studies reveal that the court case rejection rates rise as high as 46 percent!

More stress than even a Snickers can fix, we knew we better come up with a solution.

Now There’s an App for That

A purpose-built application, CaseShare is a stand-alone solution that satisfies all state requirements, automates the fancy footwork of appellate court cases, and digitally delivers it in a user-friendly PDF format to the appropriate higher court. But if you really want it to integrate with the lower court’s document management system (DMS), it will.

Remember that 46 percent? Since adopting CaseShare, one county’s Circuit Court reported that less than five percent of its appeal cases have been rejected.

A Ruling in Favor of All

Cat’s out of the bag: lower court clerks benefit from CaseShare in numerous ways. With a previously paper-based process gone automated, rules-based processing keeps them on track while the man hours required to assemble the case and transcripts drops from days to hours. Lower court clerks now have the capacity to handle their appellate case workload, and then some.

But don’t hang your heads just yet, Appellate clerks – you actually win twice! Not only are you spending less time reviewing and sending back the record, but you’ll receive all your files in a consistent manner that also allows you to easily route them into the appropriate hands.

CaseShare didn’t forget about you either, Appellate Justices. A text searchable PDF with bookmarks makes it easier in court proceedings to quickly get everyone on the same page.

Let’s Build a Case for It

There’s more to CaseShare than can fit into one blog – without losing the average reader’s attention, at least. So we built an entire webpage that spells out all the functionalities – including a populated table of contents, text-searchable documents, one-click rotating, re-ordering, deleting and/or adding pages, and more – in chunked, digestible sections. You’ll also be able to listen to a CaseShare-specific webinar which includes a demo by ImagesSoft President Scott Bade and a customer story.

Take Me to the CaseShare Webpage

We Want to Hear From You!

On average, how does your court handle higher court case ascension? Which re-occurring issues do clerks gripe about most?

Make your case in the “comments” section below or on our Courts LinkedIn Showcase page. We read and respond – promise!

 

Jeopardy Abbreviations for Insurers

To celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Jeopardy game show, let’s play the category of Abbreviations for Insurers.

185_jeopardy

Me: Let’s start with Abbreviations for Insurers for $200, Alex.

Alex: The answer is: ECM

Me: What is Enterprise Content Management?

Insurers were among the early adopters of imaging and related software, but today many of those solutions are out of date, no longer supported or so customized and patched up that it takes too many steps to even get them to work. Workarounds abound. They leave data in siloes, can’t communicate with other programs and are vulnerable to security issues. Growth and innovation are stunted.

An ECM solution with workflow for insurers automates all manual systems and integrates with your current imaging and policy administration software. It brings efficiency, transparency, and cost savings with data security. Managing your workflow, the ECM digitally identifies, routes, maintains and manages all documents and data points. From scanned documents, application files, Web content, and multimedia content, to emails and industry standard ACORD XML files, an ECM solution integrates document, workflow, business process and record management with a single application that also integrates with existing policy administration and claims processing systems.

Me: Next I’ll take Abbreviations for Insurers for $400, Alex.

Alex: The answer is: CMS

Me: What is Case Management or Content Management System?

Insurers deal with millions of data points about customers in a variety of forms and formats. If these data points are siloed in outdated legacy solutions that don’t communicate with each other, insurers are only seeing a fraction of the customer information they need to open a policy or process a claim.

A comprehensive case management system is a platform that streamlines capture, case management, document management, secure file sharing, customer communication management, and workflow that integrates with your modern core system and business applications.

A CMS delivers document management of all types, including scanned paper documents, faxes, print streams, application files, electronic forms, web content, multimedia files, customer communications and emails.

It gives insurers the options to easily configure and integrate an unlimited number of content-enabled applications and solutions to manage content, processes, communications and cases across your entire enterprise with the modern core systems that run your business.

With a CMS, claims administrators or examiners manage all aspects of a claim, from early assessment to investigation to settlement. Insurers can collect, review and maintain the supporting documentation to assess the claimant’s coverage, validate statements and negotiate payment of claims. One integrated platform promotes access to all necessary information, task assignments and schedules, notifications and time-based reminders – bringing efficiency and lowering costs.

Me: Moving down the board, I’ll take Abbreviations for Insurers for $600, Alex

Alex: You’ve picked the daily double. The answer is RPA.

Me: I’ll make it a true daily double, Alex! (I’ve always wanted to say that). What is robotic process automation?

It goes by several different names, but RPA for robotic process automation is the main one. We’ve also heard the terms jet issue and automatic underwriting bandied about. It all comes down to the same idea: automating repeatable, rule-based processes, such as underwriting tasks, web services, and lookups – much of it in the name of giving consumers what they’re asking for, an online “Amazon-like” experience with insurance. Consumers are looking for mobile and 24/7 access with quick responses online.

Insurance workflows such as new business and underwriting, claims registration and processing and the creation of business and process analytics lend themselves to automation.

Software developers are working to automate these insurance tasks to address the demand for RPA in the marketplace. For example, they are adding chat bots that handle a variety of underwriting tasks. It amounts to “no touch” claims processing. They are identifying manual processes that can easily be automated to optimize processes, increase collaboration and reduce costs.

Many insurers are using automation to create efficiencies in the industry including smartphone apps, consumer activity wearables, claim acceleration tools, individual consumer risk development systems, online policy handling apps, automated compliance processing and more.

ImageSoft insurance solutions offer automation and operational efficiency to insurers and modernized content and process management. This includes digitizing existing processes and introducing AI to further streamline operations and reduce costs. We are leveraging front- and back-end technology to give customers a transparent and more personalized response. These technology advances capitalize on the wealth of data collected through tech devices and big data sources. The goal is to securely and efficiently manage cases, content and processes.

Alex: And there’s the buzzer. We won’t get to the rest of the categories today.

ImageSoft can guide you through the abbreviations for insurers to achieve the efficiencies and cost savings you need with industry-leading solutions for insurance. Gain automated workflows, improved speed and efficiency, reduced costs and proper compliance. ImageSoft is ready to help your company reap the benefits from all of the abbreviations.

Look for more information about our solutions for life and property and casualty insurance, plus workers’ comp.

Follow ImageSoft’s Insurance Solutions LinkedIn Showcase page to understand all the abbreviations.

Are You a Firewall to Your Own Success?

We probably found this funnier than we should have, but we’re a software company – what do you expect?

184_firewall.png

Whether you identify with the fax-fanatic or the defeated presenter, hopefully you also found some humor in this. As a paperless organization, it’s intuitive for us to type notes that are automatically backed in a cloud, transfer video files through an online portal, and give virtual presentations via Microsoft Teams. But, all too often, we’re reminded by our colleagues, clients, partners and friends that digital communication is still not the norm.

Burned by the Firewall

We can get a healthy laugh out of this cartoon because it’s satirical of our very existence, which involves the daily battle of digging people’s heels out of the ground when it comes to digitally transforming their painfully paper-heavy processes. To us, going digital makes complete sense: your data is more secure, communicating is easier, efficiency, accountability and visibility are all increased, a few trees and some sanity are saved… the list goes on.

We could talk to you about the benefits of going paperless until we’re blue in the face and, if you’ve had the pleasure of working with us, you know we will. But we’ve come to learn that no matter how many facts we present from every possible angle, we’re not getting passed anyone’s firewall until they turn down the heat. If someone is a stickler on paper and manual procedures, they will incinerate our points with the flames of their implacability before our words have a chance to hit even one ear. Trust us, it happens all the time.

“Why Are You Not Paperless?”

You probably cringe more at this question than the once-per-year holiday dinner where your extended family interrogates every aspect of your personal life. But before you start flame throwing responses like, “it’s much too expensive!” or “the process isn’t broke – why fix it?” we ask that you think about the real reasons behind your apprehension –  growing pains and organization-wide changes are uncomfortable, and it requires a lot of preparation.

No judgment – we completely get it.

Take your time to research, talk to your industry’s thought leaders on paperless organizations, watch demos, and definitely consider the financial investment. Maybe read this article from the National Center for State Courts. But keep in mind that most organizations, and especially public-serving government agencies, are realizing they can no longer gamble sensitive information, data, and years of organizational know-how on the risk of paper, which can be lost, misfiled, easily neglected, or destroyed in natural disasters, like the tragic, unexpected California wildfires.

So What is the First Step to Going Paperless?

Be open to it. Understand what it means to “go paperless” (hint: it’s more than just emailing and/or eFiling). Take an inventory of your current infrastructure and procedures, and identify what’s not working or could be improved. Visualize the potential of your organization and set the goals to get there.

Once you have that, give us a call. We’ll partner with you to understand where your organization is  compared to where you want it to be and work hand-in-hand with you to establish blueprints for your paperless organization – even if we have to fax the initial plans to you.

We Want to Hear From You!

As much as we like to talk, we’re also great listeners! Leave your answer in the comment section below. We read and respond – promise!

Which persona do you identify with in the cartoon above? What is or was your biggest hurdle to digital transformation?

Want to stay updated on the latest government tech trends? Find the news directly in your social feed by following the ImageSoft Government Solutions showcase page.