Case management is not a new practice. Over a century ago, the healthcare industry was the first to adopt case management methodologies. In fact, it was used in the 1918–19 pandemic by US Public Health Services to track Spanish Flu immunization efforts nationwide. More recently, the technique evolved to include a wide variety of sectors: financial services for loan applications, insurance for claims processing, legal for client lifecycles, and government for tracking constituent services.
As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout gains steam around the world, history is repeating itself in 2021. Healthcare is, once again, at the forefront in pushing the boundaries in case management. A new generation of technological tools and information management capabilities is being implemented to increase the scope, security and impact of case management practices.
Let’s look at what makes case management different from business process management (BPM), and what defines the relatively new field of dynamic (or adaptive — the terms are interchangeable) case management.
Comparing case management to BPM
Traditional BPM focuses on well-defined, rarely changing processes. The data involved is usually highly structured and formatted. The focus is on a single workflow that is highly regimented, making it a prime target for automation. Think of paying an invoice through your AP department as an example. Removing human involvement increases speed and accuracy—as long as the process remains fixed, and variables are the exception.
Conversely, a typical case management framework focuses on a semi-structured routine that combines multiple processes together under one umbrella to meet a specific objective. For example, consider all the sub-processes and touchpoints that might be involved in guiding an insurance claim from reporting to settlement.
With case management, there is a pre-defined objective, but it’s also expected that human intervention is needed to achieve it. And that can occur at varying points throughout the process. Case management also makes data the central focus rather than structured process steps. Not just data from one source, either — case management usually relies on aggregating data from varied sources, often in myriad formats.
This leads, logically, to dynamic case management.
A dynamic approach
Dynamic case management builds on standard case management practices by introducing on-the-fly process modification capabilities. Users have control over which direction the process takes next. They can use data to make judgment calls, dynamically deciding the next desired activities while the technology supporting the flow automatically adapts to course adjustments as the case progresses.
Dynamic case management has a definitive structure, but can be modified to adapt to changes in goals and circumstances. Consider the example of COVID-19. Mutation of the virus has resulted in new strains emerging and posing new challenges to public health. This required real-time modifications to case management, data management and workflows. Everything from individual follow-up and contact-tracing capabilities to country-wide transmission tracking had to be adapted to deal with multiple variants.
And the overall pandemic situation remains fluid. Data from geographic locations continually offers new insights into how best to contain and control the spread. Vaccination schedules might have to be modified to address newly vulnerable populations. Vaccine production and distribution has never dealt with demand like this. A literal army of vaccinators must be trained and updated in ever-evolving vaccine handling and administration techniques to serve billions of individuals.
Creating, sharing and storing all these new health records creates privacy and security concerns as well.
Content services technology is key
The methodology behind this incredible global undertaking is dynamic case management — and content services technology provides the framework that makes much of it possible. Content services platforms and applications build on the organizing strengths of traditional content and document management to integrate multiple systems — identifying, analyzing, classifying and distributing information to the people who need it, in the form that works best for them. Case management in all its forms uses content services technology to:
- Create connections between pools of data to link and surface relevant data without time-consuming manual labor
- Provide a structured workflow framework to manage case progression in compliance with regulatory requirements
- Employ customized, role-based interfaces to give individual users and administrators the information they need—and are legally allowed to see—in an experience that best suits their needs
- Introduce AI to identify patterns and new opportunities in vast tables of data that are beyond human comprehension
- Instill centrally defined governance protocols to previously isolated pools of data and automatically adjust those rules as information is used and modified throughout its lifecycle
Interested in finding out more about how a new generation of information management tools is redefining case management? Explore how OpenText™ Documentum™ xCP allows organizations to rapidly design and deploy case management processes. Then watch this series of short videos that demonstrate how various industries have benefited from adopting a dynamic case management approach.