Ringing in the new year with Modernization Program progress
As we begin a new year, the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division (WCD) is taking this opportunity to tell you about some of the modernization process improvement projects we are working on. In 2021, WCD selected four projects for division improvements as part of the Modernization Program. Each of the projects is now in various stages of planning and execution. Our goal is to complete all four of these projects in 2022. Since each of the modernization projects will affect our external partners, we encourage you to read the project summaries below to learn what changes you can expect in the coming months:
Project one: Allowing insurers to receive reports electronically
Over the years, the workers’ compensation industry has moved toward a primarily electronic reporting process. Given this industry trend, insurers have requested that the division explore electronically sending reports as opposed to mailed paper reports. Reports sent in an electronic format allow our stakeholders to use the information contained in the report more effectively. For example, electronic reports allow for data to be copied and downloaded into stakeholder systems so stakeholders can identify and obtain missing information or to investigate a reporting issue. Currently, WCD paper reports do not allow for these benefits of electronic reports. Also, information contained in the reports cannot be integrated into our partners’ systems. During this project, we will determine the best way to provide reports electronically to stakeholders. We will use the Quarterly Claims Processing and Performance (QCPP) report as a pilot to document this new business process. The QCPP is a report that is published by our audit unit to outline insurer performance with respect to claim reporting. Moving forward, we will also document this process and provide recommendations to the WCD Leadership team for how best to transition additional reports into an electronic format in the future.
Project two: Streamlining communications to injured workers and employers
Input from you, our external partners, tells us that injured workers and employers sometimes feel inundated with communications during the claims process. With this project, we will review and analyze currently required notice language to determine if it is necessary and to evaluate the wording to improve readability with the goal of providing shorter notices and publications that are easier to understand.
Project three: Developing cross-training plans and collaboration tools
This project is an internal initiative to increase WCD’s institutional knowledge by developing strong cross-training plans throughout the division. The goal is to provide uninterrupted services and excellent customer service even during staff transitions. This project will also include research to identify the best way for our hybrid teams to collaborate as we incorporate more work into our permanent infrastructure.
Project four: Electronic document submission
This project is a joint effort between WCD and the Department of Consumer and Business Services Information Technology and Research Section and will be using the current portal. More details about this new process are still in development, but WCD will provide more specifics in future articles as the project evolves.
Your input matters!
We look forward to sharing more information about these projects and our other Modernization Program activities in the coming months. As always, please contact Heather Williamson with any questions or to learn more: WCD.Modernization@oregon.gov.