By Kathy Tazic, Managing Director, Client Services, Sedgwick
The COVID era of the past two years has shined a bright light on our collective dependence on technology. No matter where we are, all of us want to be able to do many activities of our daily lives from any connected device. The same holds true when it comes to workers’ compensation. More than ever before, today’s workforce expects to be able to access real-time information about their claims online and to communicate via their preferred channel — just as they do in their everyday life.
Our industry should aim to not just meet but exceed these expectations. By leveraging advanced technology, we can deliver exceptional claim experiences to individuals in need of support and guidance following an on-the-job injury or illness. As managers and designers of the workers’ compensation claims process, we have the capacity through our technology to empower people at a time when they feel particularly vulnerable to regain ownership of their circumstances and chart their path to recovery.
In my column last week, I outlined how a people-first, tech-forward and data-driven approach to workers’ compensation claims can enable our industry to take better care of injured and ill workers. Here, I’d like to highlight a couple of examples from within my organization of how this philosophy can be put into practice. I hope this will spark a broader exchange of ideas on how our industry uses technology and data to improve customer experiences.
Tech-driven self service
The marketplace is rapidly changing, and new technology options abound. Our consumer self-service tool emphasizes the individualized and optimized digital experience we strive to provide to every individual user. Designed to eliminate the frustrations often associated with workers’ compensation, the tool guides the employee through every step of the process and empowers them to play an active role as their claim progresses. They can view up-to-the-minute claim details and payment status, update their personal information, submit documents, search for medical providers and other resources, contact their examiner, configure their communication and language preferences, and keep the process moving forward. Equally as valuable, the employee can access our educational videos on how the process works so that first-time injured workers can have easy to follow information on the process. Thanks to responsive design, the application adapts to any web-enabled device and offers full functionality on computers, tablets and smartphones.
When we receive notification of a new workers’ compensation claim, an email goes out to the employee with instructions on how to register for and access our full digital experience. A user-friendly visual timeline outlines the full claim progression, and the “next step” feature helps the employee know what’s expected of them and other stakeholders at every stage.
This is one example of how innovative technology can be used to demystify and simplify the workers’ compensation claim process for the end user. Further, the automation and streamlined workflows afforded by this kind of technology allows claims professionals to stay focused on the important and meaningful work of helping people where it matters most.
We all must remember that employees interface with the workers’ compensation system only when something unfortunate occurs. Our job is to take care of them and help make things right again. Technology designed with a people-first philosophy in mind serves to demonstrate how caring counts.
Data-driven attorney scorecards
Data science is an emerging trend in workers’ compensation that presents opportunities for exploring new ways to improve outcomes and control costs. As an example, we’ve consistently heard from clients about concerns over increased litigation driving up claim costs; to address this challenge, we drew on our extensive and diverse set of claims data and developed an attorney scorecard to support clients in refining elements of their litigation strategies.
Data-driven initiatives like this one demonstrate the added value of having a claims management partner with a wealth of data, resources to invest in leading-edge technology, and openness to exploring uncharted territory. As an industry, we must continue to innovate and embrace emerging technologies in order to keep pace with consumer and client expectations for an efficient and meaningful user experience. Further, using claims data to identify trends, evaluate partners, and develop predictive models enables us to learn from experience, better serve employers, and take optimal care of their valued employees.
How is your organization using a people-first, tech-forward and data-driven approach to enhance the customer experience?
About Kathy Tazic
Kathy Tazic is managing director of client services at Sedgwick. In this role, Tazic is responsible for program results and service execution across Sedgwick’s customer base; this includes technical execution and ensuring that results continue to improve. A Sedgwick colleague since 1991, she has held a variety of positions at the company, including client consulting director, national workers’ compensation practice leader, program architect and operations manager. Tazic is a recognized industry thought leader and regular contributor to the Sedgwick blog and prominent trade publications. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois – Urbana.
Sedgwick is a leading global provider of technology-enabled risk, benefits and integrated business solutions. We provide a broad range of resources tailored to our clients’ specific needs in casualty, property, marine, benefits, brand protection and other lines. At Sedgwick, caring counts; through the dedication and expertise of nearly 30,000 colleagues across 80 countries, the company takes care of people and organizations by mitigating and reducing risks and losses, promoting health and productivity, protecting brand reputations, and containing costs that can impact performance. Sedgwick’s majority shareholder is The Carlyle Group; Stone Point Capital LLC, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), Onex and other management investors are minority shareholders. For more, see sedgwick.com.
Sedgwick is a WorkCompWire ad partner.
This is NOT a paid placement.