We wanted panelists that could provide great info in a plain spoken manner, and tech companies to show us some of the greatest technologies just now coming to market. We were not disappointed. I saw the future of workers’ comp today.
Today’s pre-conference session at the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference was an eye opener for me, despite the fact that I helped put it together. Entitled "Awesome New Technologies: What You Need To Know to Drive Improvement", it covered four critical points in the continuing evolution of technology; Cloud Computing, Security, Equipment Roundup, and Information Management Today.
Additionally, as I mentioned, we had several tech companies perform live demos, showing us some very impressive new systems.
I was the moderator of this event, and as such was given a great deal of input by LRP, the conference organizers, into the selection of both panelists and demo companies. We wanted people who could "keep it real", and keep an audience involved and active for the 3 1/2 hour session. They lived up to that goal, and then some.
Sandy Blunt, Vice President of Insurance Services at Medata, started off by reviewing results of a recent Claims System Survey conducted by Health Strategy Associates. The survey contained some surprising results, including resistance to automation on the front lines, and a general disconnect between what executives thought they had in technology systems, and what those systems could actually do.
Ken Eichler, Director of Government and Insurance Services for The Reed Group, gave an extensive and spirited talk on cloud computing. In addition to a solid review of what cloud computing is, he spent a good deal of time covering contractual pitfalls and outstanding advice on what people need to look for when selecting a "Cloud Provider". Sandy Blunt did a great job of reviewing equipment and software available today that are true game changers. Obviously much of his presentation centered on mobile devices and their related apps. He had terrific info, and all of us came away with some really clever apps we can use in our everyday life. (and here I thought I knew everything!)
Kerwin Williams, Principal, KA Williams & Associates, competently covered security issues, particularly as it pertains to personal health information and HIPAA requirements "in the cloud".
The final panelist, Patrick Venditti, Director-Corporate Health Services, BJC HealthCare, rounded out the presentations by focusing on what they do with the information their technology produces. One of the things Vendetti’s company has done is develop custom systems to score every claim they have, and prioritize them so that resources can be directed to manage the high risk, potentially expensive claims. It was a fine example of how a company could use all of the topics covered in the session to better manage their claims and related costs.
The session was interspersed with the tech demos, and that really helped "put a face" on the program topics. Systema Software, showing elements of their SIMS Claims Management Software, showed how 3rd party services can be integrated to vastly improve claims handling processes. Systema is integrated with such services as ISO ClaimSearch, Bing Maps, Microsoft Silverlight,as well as WorkersCompensation.com’s form auto-population service, FlashFormSSL.
CSC-Riskmaster reps showed how their product is now enabled to interface with mobile apps to allow for real time data entry from the point of injury and elsewhere.
A truly unique presentation was performed by Med-Tek, who performed a live assessment using their CMAP application. That program uses an interactive, video supported interface combined with a myriad of electric sensors attached to the patient to assess the extent and potential validity of injury, pain and movement limitations. A very impressive concept, and a great demo to round out the day.
Life is changing for all of us, and the looming ubiquity of mobile devices, combined with improved wireless technology and cloud computing is a true "game changer" – not just for our industry but for all mankind. Our office’s will someday be contained in handheld devices, and the things we will be able to accomplish are truly amazing by todays standards. That was what I saw today. I saw the future, and it’s pretty damn impressive.