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Case Management: What You Need to Know Before Choosing Your Solution

This article appears in the issue April 2011 [Volume 20, Issue 4]

In today’s world, most business processes have evolved into a highly complex combination of interactions between people and systems. These exchanges start with basic content and evolve into adaptive cases involving human judgment. Case management is a pattern of work that orchestrates people, processes, and information to make the optimal business decision. Traditionally used in social services, healthcare, banking, insurance, and legal environments, case management is rapidly expanding into many other industries. A case is a central point of control that contains all the documents, data, collaboration artifacts, policies, rules, analytics, and other information needed to process and manage the case. Examples of cases include a loan, a patient record, a lawsuit, an insurance claim, a human resources employee file, or a contract.

Seven key capabilities are critical for case management:

1. Information capture: Look for a solution that can eliminate mundane and error-prone human data entry, and create and use high-fidelity e-forms to reduce the costs, bottlenecks, and risks associated with paper-based processing.

2. Data extraction: Most software that can perform data extraction can only do it on predefined forms. Case management software should be able to take content it hasn’t seen before and still retrieve relevant information needed for the case.

3. Business process management: BPM is a discipline and a set of technologies that can help you automate, optimize, effectively monitor and measure your business processes. Without it, even the simplest case can fall victim to delays and cost overruns.

4. Content management: Move beyond basic search and access with true content management that ensures that you have a broad, real-time, full view of the information and documentation related to a particular case. A sophisticated case management system can also handle sensitive content and expose it only if a knowledge worker is authorized to see it.

5. Compliance and record retention: You need more than self-discipline when dealing with case compliance issues—you need an automated solution with an auditable electronic trail. And you need one that can electronically track, retain, and manage documents for you.

6. Collaboration: The solution must encourage on-the-fly collaboration both internally and externally. Collaboration divides the work while it multiplies success. Types of collaboration that should be supported include a simple request for information, a sharing or delegating of job tasks, the joint writing of a document, or a multi-party discussion around a topic.

7. Customer communication management: Personalized, multi-channel communications are required for improved customer relationships. Customer communications include contracts, invoices, correspondence, statements, personalized marketing materials, and welcome kits. When communicating with customers or cross-promoting offers, adding useful information helps build the relationship.

Only a solution that includes all seven key case management capabilities can integrate well with current systems, reduce reliance on paper, help users find documents more easily, offer better protection from a compliance perspective, and—ultimately—help process more cases at a lower cost.

To learn more about case management, visit our website at

EMC Corporation
176 South Street
Hopkinton, MA 01748

PH: 800.222.3622 or 508.435.1000
FAX: 508.497.6904

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