By Sean Cassidy, Vice President – Sales & Marketing, Benchmark Independent Medical Examinations
Toronto, ON (Nov. 11, 2015) – Last week we reviewed some of the common perils of document management/sharing and general information security, and now we will look at practical solutions to proactively address security concerns with the benefit of improving internal efficiency at the same time.
One of the fundamental underlying themes of the security risks previously presented (fax, email, personal computer, etc.) is that they result, in large part, due to the information/data being available and/or physically travelling outside the domain and control of each of the various claim participants. As a result, it’s time to acknowledge the futility of focusing solely on defending impregnable data fortresses and equipping remote computers with antivirus and group policy rules in an attempt to safeguard remote data exchanges. While still very important, alone this strategy is no longer enough because it doesn’t address the root of the problem. Essentially, what these precautions do is take the traditional process and attempt to make each end node as secure as possible but this does not address the underlying issue of disparate communication methods. Ultimately, the best way to address an ongoing issue such as this is to consider alternative process/workflow options such as a new, practical security strategy emphasizing high environmental awareness, constant data tracking/learning, and a new more standardized way of conducting business.
Since we have established the primary challenge with traditional claims processes is multiple communication methods and inherent gaps, rather than attempting to patch this process a better approach is to adopt a holistic new solution where a common system is used across all parties. Ultimately, there is little choice in a “bring your own device” world where work traffic is no longer confined to uniform, corporate-issued desktops and laptops. Therefore, we must focus on controlling and safeguarding the flow of data, not just the devices, and a very effective way to accomplish this is to utilize cloud based workflow solutions so that all users, regardless of their devices and roles, are operating on the same playing field. This also provides complete visibility – the system tracks in real-time which users are on the system, previously been on the system, where they’re located, and what data they’re accessing.
Utilizing a single comprehensive system such as this not only reduces potential security threats but also greatly reduces the silo-style constraints that limit communication, ease of secure information access, and systemized knowledge of trends and patterns across the full communication spectrum.
This technology is available and already in use in many industries, however, participants in the claims process, particularly on the casualty side, have been using the same processes for many years and are resistant to change and a culture shift is required to successfully implement any new system. All users must take a measure of personal responsibility for data security and for embracing a system which results in increased security, efficiency, and knowledge gains. This shift can be eased along by the convenience of users being able to utilize the device of their choice when conforming to the new system requirements but, at some point, owners of the process must take a stand and adopt/implement the new technology.
Real-time secure awareness, lightning fast remediation, collaboration, and responsible habits are the fundamental pillars of new-school security and can be best achieved by shifting all workflows into a single best practices system that is centrally managed, supports any device, and ensures comprehensive security and privacy.
At Benchmark, we have been utilizing the new ExpeFlow software platform for nearly a year now which was developed with the express purpose of providing the holistic new solution mentioned above. Benchmark has received outstanding benefits along with enhanced security from utilizing the ExpeFlow platform, however, critical mass is required to shift the industry and associated vendors away from the status quo and onto systems such as ExpeFlow. Hopefully insurers will adopt the process proactively rather than out of necessity due to a security breach such as the ones experienced by Sony or JP Morgan Chase. The technology is available now and while we will continue to advocate for its adoption, it will be interesting to see what the final impetus is that moves the claims workflow away from its traditional roots and how long the process takes.
About the Author
Sean has been active in the insurance claims handling space in various capacities since 1997 and was one of the pioneers of Canada’s first online claims management system launched in 1999. Sean has expertise in claims, claims process improvement, vendor programs, claims IT systems, and document management. He enjoys working with insurance companies to tie all of these components together with their various systems and processes in order to arrive at the ideal combination customized to an insurer’s own unique needs. Sean joined Benchmark IME in December of 2013 and is putting his experience, coupled with Benchmark’s advanced technological capabilities, to work to improve the AB claim workflow for insurers in Canada.
Sean can be reached at [email protected].
Technology-driven, person-centered philosophy, and privately-owned and operated by a Regulated Healthcare Practitioner – we only provide Independent Medical Examinations (IME). Benchmark provides a comprehensive range of IME with national coverage to Property and Casualty Insurers, Group Life and Health Insurers, Government, Employers, and the legal community. Benchmark is CARF accredited and has a management process that is ISO 9001:2008 certified.
Source: Benchmark IME