By Lauren Tripp, Senior Agency Consultant, Kite Technology Group
If you are among the many agencies utilizing the Applied Epic platform, do you know there are a myriad of configurations and uses that you can set to make it work uniquely to your agency’s needs? Even if you are implementing the workflows set by Applied Epic or have developed your own, there will come a time when you need to step back and make sure that those workflows are still working and proving beneficial to your agency. Updating and standardizing your workflows is an important part of running your agency efficiently while also ensuring that information is entered into your database accurately. If you are trying to determine if your workflows are already standardized, or if it is time to update them, it is helpful to evaluate your agency using questions such as:
Are your employees efficient?
Are you getting accurate reports from Epic?
Can you or anyone else follow behind them and understand their work?
If you answered no to any of these questions, then it is time to seriously consider standardizing your agency workflows and doing so will come with many benefits: First of all, standardized workflows can create efficiency when you streamline functions in Configure. An excellent example of this would be having only one activity open per workflow. Second, standardization allows each person in your agency to follow behind someone and understand where they are at in a workflow. Finally, you can prevent harmful E&O exposures by ensuring the workflow requires steps to be followed, such as attaching documents or updating the application properly. Many agencies find that inaccurate reporting is often directly related to the agency workflows. For example, if you are reporting on Estimated Premium and Commission, that needs to be instructed in the workflow. Otherwise, employees may be skipping that field if it is not required in Epic.
When you are ready to develop your workflows, it is important to choose the right team to get the job done. Your team needs to be efficient and open-minded, and you may want a representative from each department for times where you may need more than one activity code per event. Include member(s) of management who will determine what reports are required, and someone who has hands-on working knowledge of Applied Epic, such as an account manager.
Once you have your team in place, you can apply some best practices to the development of your workflows. Remember, adapting what you "used to do" will not allow you to take full advantage of Epic efficiencies.
A great starting point would be in Configure. To automate a workflow, you need to understand Epic Configuration of Events, Activities, and Tasks. You will also need to re-evaluate the Configure setup periodically, especially when there are major Epic updates. Start with Events and identify which ones are associated to activities and how those activities are being generated and used. Determine whether you need an activity to generate for documentation, follow up, or reporting purposes only. Keep in mind that you can set activities to generate in the background or even be kept hidden when you need them only for reporting purposes. Configure your activities with field defaults, follow updates, tasks, and further actions for additional automation.
Next, determine how you will structure your workflow manual. It is best that you categorize your workflows by department and/or process. For example, you may have separate workflows for Personal Lines Renewals – Downloaded and Personal Lines Renewals – Not Downloaded. It is possible that some workflows can be used by multiple departments as well, so be sure to involve representatives from each department, so you do not make changes that negatively impact the other departments.
Finally, remember it is essential to audit your data and employees once you have trained and implemented the standardized workflows. Without auditing, you will be unable to determine whether the workflows that you worked so hard to create are even being followed or understood. Be sure to check out Kite Technology’s webinars for more information on Auditing and Reporting for System Integrity.
Standardizing workflows is a beneficial tool to ensure your agency is getting the best use out of Applied Epic and that information is inputting accurately. It creates efficiency with configured streamlined functions, prevents potential E&O exposures, and allows for employees to easily pick up and work on an account, no matter if it is theirs or another colleagues. If you would like more information about developing your agency's workflows, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us online at https://www.kitetechgroup.com/insurance-consulting.