Support for Multitasking Claim Handlers

Felecia Maresh
Felicia Maresh
P&C Claims Expert

The concept of multitasking appears to have originated in the computer industry and refers to the ability of a computer to process several tasks simultaneously.  As we move through daily life, we are asking our human brains more and more often to function in a similar method.  Today I sit at my desk, working on this blog, monitoring email, answering IM and telephone calls, all the while knowing that the minutes are clicking down toward a large project planning meeting. 

As a former long-time claims handler, though, I know that this multitasking is a way of life in the claims world too … there are fewer claims adjusters with larger inventories who are asked to process more and more data in a much quicker manner. In fact, many insurance companies have interview and test questions regarding a candidate’s ability to multitask. Whether or not you believe that we really can multitask, it’s no longer the norm to concentrate on one or even two things at a time. But are claim handlers being given the tools to accomplish what is being asked?

While the fundamentals of handling claims are the same from company to company (coverage, liability, investigation, damages, resolution), what can make a difference for the claim handler in handling those claims?  What claim handlers need are systems that are easy to use and have the ability to support a multitasking work environment. 

Most older systems are linear (you see one screen at a time with a progression of screen access). That linear design leads to layers of screens and pop-up windows while processing information.  For example, while the claim handler is working within a claim, they may open several screens and windows, one on top of another, building layer upon layer of information. If you leave that screen, you need to save the info before closing.  Often the claim handler simply gets lost or can’t see two windows at the same time.  This can create delays in responding to requests while waiting for the screens to close or transfer, which leads to continued frustration for the claim handler. Why? Because one of the premises of multitasking is that you move faster and more efficiently while multitasking. This frustration can ultimately lead to retention issues as the tools being used aren’t an aid, but are a detriment to the job.

The solution is a modern claim management system designed for the claim handler in the multitasking world.  A claims system designed for today’s requirements allows for the ability to view multiple sources of information at once and to put a screen off to the side while working on entering information on a different screen.  StoneRiver has addressed that need by designing a UI with the ability to “dock” file notes, work orders and other components while working within the claim, so a claim handler can multitask more easily.

Docking means sliding the information to the side for quick access. This docking ability moves the component to the side of the page, freeing the flow of information within the claim. This allows the claim handler to leave the item open for further work while referring back to the claim or leaving that claim to answer an incoming call on a different claim, complete a report or a multitude of other tasks that arise. When returning to the claim, the item can be opened and completed.  No more layers to wade through … just a simple click and you can move from task to task, checking off items on your to-do list.

If the basics of claim handling are the same, isn’t the difference the system and how it supports the claim handlers with their multitasking? And in the end, isn’t that what we are looking for … a way for the claim handler to handle their increasing work load with ease?  

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