Polonious recently ran a panel discussion at the IASIU conference held virtually on 14th and 15th September. Prior to the panel we ran a short questionnaire about approaches to performance management within SIUs, and the results were quite interesting. Firstly, 30.77% answered that they did not have a system for measuring the effectiveness of their SIU. This was surprising as most operations these days come with some sort of performance metric, to justify expenditure and tune performance.

Obviously, we would love people to use Polonious to track and report on expenses and outcomes, but you don’t have to use Polonious. Even if you don’t use case management software at all, we would highly recommend some system for tracking performance, to guide future decisions on resources and methods. If you would like to know more, we’ll be putting together a longer paper with more of the results.

For those that do measure the performance of their SIU, most answered that this is done by SIU management, and reported monthly, which is about what you would expect, with some variations. 55% reported that operating costs are allocated to the claim file which, again, is expected. However 30% reported that costs are unallocated – which would make it hard for an SIU to identify high cost problem cases/areas.

Sources of referral were fairly evenly spread. A big surprise for us was that around 50% of respondents didn’t record the number of false positive referrals from either an analytics tool or their claims unit. A similar percentage said they didn’t feed these false positives back to their source, to improve referrals. When you compare this to the SIUs who did record these numbers, there were significant amounts in the 41-60% bracket, even in the 61-80% bracket.Nearly 80% say they’re recording their reasons for rejecting referrals, but those who aren’t feeding that back are going to keep getting 40-80% bad referrals which they have to process before getting back to productive work.

Performance measures were as expected, e.g. referrals and ROI. A large number also report on indirect performance measures such as training and deterrent effects. Productivity measures were also as expected, focussing on cycle times and cases per investigator. However few SIUs were measuring time per stage, which is something we would recommend for identifying bottlenecks in your process and improving productivity.

Lastly, less than 50% of SIUs answered that they measure surveillance quality. This includes measures such as time stamps on the video, subject centred in the video, in focus, etc. This means a number of SIUs are receiving – and paying for – surveillance footage which is less likely to have impact on a case. Less impact from your footage means less savings for every dollar spent on surveillance. Polonious highly recommends tracking surveillance quality and feeding this back to investigators and vendors.

Please note – this was a brief questionnaire to participants and other respondents for interest’s sake ahead of the panel. It is not intended to be statistically representative.