Improving data collection design and coordination

Bruce Watson, Executive General Manager, Comcare

ONLINE data collection -

Comcare is collaborating with employees and all Commonwealth government departments and portfolio agencies to collect data through digital solutions to improve return to work rates and reduce claim costs.

Online Workers Compensation Claim

The online workers compensation claim form captures information through a customised web based solution which increases data quality and claim compliance with authentication including capture of a digital signature. On employee completion, the form is accessed by the employer reducing their workload, timeframes, manual handling and red tape. Employers can confidently rely on the data accuracy and receive confirmation including an electronic record when they submit directly into Comcare’s system.

This process removes the need for manual completion of paper forms and eliminates delays, with  structured workflow that omits unnecessary questions based on previous responses. The online claim process has reduced the time taken to collect information from a median of 16.5 days to 5.1. This allows all stakeholders to focus on return to work or health activities, reducing claims cost and premiums through faster claim processing and decision making.

Online Claim for Time Off Work and Normal Weekly Earnings Data

The online claim for time off work form allows employees and employers to input and validate incapacity and payroll data directly into Comcare’s systems. Comcare receives over 50,000 claim for time off work forms to process each year.

The employee authenticates themselves through the online form and specifies the dates and times they have been unable to work. They are able to upload relevant medical information and receive an electronic record as confirmation on submission. Employers are able to verify and view the data collected, confirm or modify periods of incapacity and input payroll data including overtime and allowances. The data automatically populates Comcare’s system and removes manual data entry, which increases efficiency and reduces data error rates.

The above solutions were developed and tested through extensive collaboration with employees and employers. Progressive product improvements were made through a staged roll-out involving ‘early adopter’ agencies. They represent a digitally mature approach to collecting information which optimises human interactions through digital solutions.