Manual case management refers to the tracking and recording of cases and incidents by requiring employees to update and monitor every single detail. It requires a high degree of attention, care and accuracy to ensure that it is done correctly with minimal to no errors. However, the more information employees have to record manually, the more likely it is for mistakes to happen. Manual case management is where most businesses start and the most common reasons businesses are afraid to make the change to a more efficient process is fear of costs and change.
Challenges of manual case management
Technology makes things easier. Refusing to use technology to its full potential comes with many challenges including:
-Lack of standardisation
-Lack of security
Lack of standardisation
Without standardisation, manual case management within an organisation can result in a range of negative consequences. It can lead to inconsistencies in how cases are handled which can cause decisions to be challenged due to perceptions of unfairness or favouritism, as standards are not applied equally and consistently – even if differences in treatment were not intentional. This can impact the quality of service and the level of customer and employee satisfaction, depending on the case.
Lack of standardisation can create confusion and inefficiencies within an organisation. Without a clear and easy-to-follow process for handling cases, it becomes difficult to manage workflow and ensure that all necessary steps are being taken. This can lead to duplicate efforts and ultimately wastes valuable resources.
It might also be difficult to track and measure progress. Without a standardised process, it becomes challenging to monitor the performance of the case management system, making it difficult to identify areas for improvement or track outcomes effectively.
Manual case management can be incredibly time-consuming and labour-intensive, resulting in significant challenges for any organisation. The process of managing cases manually can take a toll on employees, using up valuable time and resources that could be directed elsewhere. This is because it can take a while to ensure that cases are documented accurately, tasks are tracked and deadlines are met.
Manual case management can lead to potential errors and inconsistencies, which can have a great impact on an organisation’s credibility and reputation. This process can also be frustrating for employees, who may feel overwhelmed by the volume of tasks they need to complete without an efficient system in place.
With manual case management, information tends to scatter due to a lack of proper tools and techniques. This dispersed information can lead to errors, delays and miscommunication, leading to reduced productivity and worse or inaccurate results.
Without a centralised system, relevant information can be scattered across various locations such as email inboxes, physical files, spreadsheets and personal notes. This results in the duplication of information in different locations, making it difficult to track the progress of cases. Employees may not become aware of updates to document versions as each individual may have their own version saved in their personal device or folder.
Lack of security
Manual case management lacks security due to the potential for human error, oversights and mishandling of sensitive information. With physical case files, there is a higher risk of theft or loss of confidential information. Manual methods also do not offer the same level of access controls and user permissions that digital systems have. This means that it can be difficult to track who has viewed or edited a case file, leaving it vulnerable to unauthorised access and misuse. In an investigation, it can also mess up the chain of custody, making it harder to determine who was in possession of evidence at each point in time.
Excel systems also lack the encryption capabilities that modern digital case management systems have to secure data. Without this encryption, confidential information can be easily intercepted and read by unintended parties during transfer or storage. It could be as easy as walking to a file storage room and taking a folder. Another disadvantage is that manual processes have limited auditing capabilities, making it challenging to track changes and monitor activity. The only way to tell who has edited an Excel sheet is if the person is given permission manually and the document is stored in an online cloud.
All of these factors make manual case management susceptible to security breaches, jeopardising the privacy and confidentiality of the individuals involved in the case.
How to make case management efficient
To address manual case management and make the process more efficient, it is important to consider digital case management solutions that offer enhanced security measures. These can include secure cloud storage, software or systems. Software and systems are the best way to deal with the disadvantages of manual case management as they offer the following:
Automated workflows allow organisations to streamline their processes and enhance the efficiency of their operations.
One of the key ways that software for case management automates workflows is through the use of templates and pre-defined processes. These tools enable users to standardise their workflows and ensure that all cases are handled in a consistent manner. They also get rid of the numerous Excel sheets that companies tend to use for each case.
A case management system can also automate the creation and assignment of tasks. When a new case is opened, it can automatically generate a list of tasks that need to be completed and assign them to the appropriate team members. This eliminates the need for manual tracking and ensures that tasks are completed in a timely manner.
Another way that case management software can automate workflows is through the use of automated notifications. Users can set up notifications to alert them when specific events occur, such as a case being updated or a task being completed. This ensures that everyone involved in a case is kept up-to-date and can respond quickly to any changes.
Easier storage and access
Case management systems are designed to provide a centralised platform where all the case-related information can be stored and accessed in a more organised manner. This eliminates the need for manual record-keeping and reduces the issues associated with shuffling through documents to find the right one.
A great advantage of using case management software and systems is the storage of information in an easily retrievable form. All relevant documents, notes and communications related to a particular case can be uploaded onto the platform, making it easy for authorised staff to retrieve the information whenever needed.
Protection and security
Storing information in one central location has another advantage; it reduces the risk of information being lost. Systems like Polonious can help to ensure that sensitive information is kept secure and confidential.
One of the key ways that case management software can enhance security is through access controls and permissions. This software allows administrators to restrict access to certain cases or files based on the user’s role or level of clearance. This helps to prevent unauthorised access, which is crucial when dealing with confidential or sensitive information. Polonious only provides case updates to those involved in the case, ensuring that there are no information leaks.
In addition, case management software can provide a trail of all actions taken within the system. This means that managers can track who has accessed a case file, when they accessed it and what changes they made. As a result, organisations are able to identify and respond to potential security breaches quickly and effectively.
Using a software or system for case management means less costs and more time for employees to focus on core tasks. With the increasing complexity of casework, it has become incredibly challenging to keep track of everything, from case updates to client information, without the help of a reliable software system. Especially as a business grows, more automation is essential as tasks are increasing.
By getting rid of manual case management, organisations can drastically reduce their workload by automating tedious administrative tasks. For instance, data entry and record keeping can now be easily automated, reducing errors and facilitating more efficient tracking of case information. This helps to reduce the time spent on manual tasks, enabling staff to focus on more critical issues related to case management.
Employees will not need to keep track of events or reminders. The systems in place will be able to notify them of what the next steps are or if further action is needed.
Manual case management: A thing of the past
Manual case management is no longer the best solution for effectively keeping track of cases. It now has many disadvantages that affect not only the business but employees as well. Letting employees be responsible for every mundane task can affect their happiness and work satisfaction which will, in turn, lower their productivity. The productivity that is already lower than should be due to an inefficient process in place. Implementing a new system is essential for unlocking the full potential of the company’s resources.
Due to the benefits Polonious offers, we are chosen by businesses all over the world when it comes to case management. From assisting with investigations to audits and compliance, Polonious offers confidential and efficient workflows that help our clients save time and reduce their costs. Automation, centralised storage and case permissions are only a few of the benefits that our customers experience. Reach out and let us show you how we can improve your case management.
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