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Employee Benefit Plans team improves efficiency by getting rid of paper

3sHealth’s Employee Benefit Plans (EBP) team is celebrating a significant increase in efficiency thanks to a reduction in disability claims paper files.

One of several Employee Benefit Plans file storage units (Image digitally altered to preserve privacy)
One of several Employee Benefit Plans file storage units (Image digitally altered to preserve privacy)

As part of its multi-year Path to Health project, the EBP department transitioned to an electronic management system for Disability Income Plan claims in June of 2022. While all current and future disability claims now exist digitally, many paper-based claim files and informational documents from previous years were still housed in the 3sHealth offices. 

While the shift created a great deal of positive change, there were also a number of challenges that had to be addressed following the transition. Using new online processes while still having to reference paper historical files can lead to a number of inefficiencies, such as creating dual processes, limiting how many employees can reference files at once, and losing significant time while employees are away from their desks locating files. At the time of the transition, nearly 2,000 paper files were in use, with the filing cabinets used to store physical documents taking up more than 740 square feet of office space (a footage larger than the average one-bedroom apartment in Canada). That forced the EBP team to separate and occupy more office space, creating another potential source of inefficiency and disrupting the team culture. 

As a part of the Path to Health project to improve plan member service, EBP set a target to reduce the use of paper disability claim files and the space dedicated to physical file storage by 80 per cent by the end of March, 2023.

Removing file storage units created more space for employees
Removing file storage units created more space for employees

The team officially hit that mark on March 15, 2023. Various EBP team members worked for months to scan, organize, and archive almost 3,000 files, with other teams providing support whenever possible. As one might expect, this has made a significant impact on the team members conducting their day-to-day work.

“We are so thankful for the greater Employee Benefits team for its support and patience while we navigated through the project,” said Claim Services Specialist Cheryl Pockrandt. “Having our paper files scanned into our electronic claim management system saves us time looking for files, frees up physical office space, saves on paper and printer costs, and provides access to the electronic claim file for multiple users at a time.” 

While setting an ambitious target to reduce paper files felt daunting at first, the success of the project is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the EBP team. The improvements created by this shift will help ensure that disability claim applications receive the attention they need as quickly and efficiently as possible.

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