A RMIS can help management make accurate, insightful decisions about risk and predict future financial obligations.  But the software itself can only go so far. Having the right data, people, and processes in place can give you that extra boost of power for peak RMIS performance.

Own Your Data

Data is king.  The primary job of your RMIS is to create a data set from which you can gain insights to achieve a competitive advantage or improve the financial position of your organization. You need to ensure the data in your RMIS can be relied upon to make sound decisions and report accurately to your stakeholders.

With respect to data governance, you own your data. It’s up to you to make sure your data is accurate, consistent, and complete, regardless of where it originates. The best way to do this is to schedule data checks at regular intervals. Within your RMIS application, this could mean validating data upon entry, scheduling reports to identify missing or incorrect data in key fields, or ensuring data loaded into your system balances correctly.  Outside your RMIS, data checks could mean tying back third-party invoice data to claims or having regular actuarial reviews to look for outliers.  Mistakes happen, but regular data checks can help you reduce or eliminate the most likely errors.

Work with your team, including your RMIS vendor, broker, actuary, TPA, and others, to develop and implement a data governance plan. Taking the time to execute a well-conceived plan will improve your return on investment – and you’ll probably sleep better at night.

Build a Team You Can Trust

Organizations that have a high level of open and honest communication and encourage their vendors to collaborate achieve the best results from their RMIS – especially over the long term. You want to have a team you respect and trust, and that you can rely upon to execute your vision and offer insightful recommendations based on current knowledge, experience, and specific organizational needs. Good communication also helps processes run more smoothly, identify and resolve issues more quickly, and make improvements more easily. Your RMIS vendor, broker, TPA, and others are a useful part of this team. And the longer the relationship, the more value you’ll get. Teams generally find it easier to work through issues if they are confident that there is a long-term commitment.

Keep Improving Your Processes

Changing business and regulatory needs, as well as improvements to technology, necessitate constant evaluation of workflows.  One approach is to hold annual stewardship meetings with your vendors.  You may choose to hold these reviews with all vendors at once where you can communicate business goals and objectives for the coming year and discuss challenges and opportunities with your entire team.

If it has been a while since you’ve conducted a process review, or if your team is experiencing significant change due to a merger or divestiture, for example, you might consider engaging one of your vendors to apply the principles of lean, six-sigma, or other methodology to identify improvements. This approach will help eliminate waste and focus your team on the activities that will achieve the outcomes you want from your RMIS.

With your guidance, your software vendor should be able to meet your changing data needs, grow the people on your team to be more insightful, and improve your processes to work more efficiently. You’ll achieve better outcomes – and maximize the return on your RMIS investment.