The Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) has embarked on an effort to drastically reduce the reliance on paper files by constructing a Document Management System (DMS). The DMS will be the main repository for all case documents filed with the DIA related to disputed workers' compensation claims. Doing so will allow DIA to reduce costs and streamline the process for all of our constituencies.
A DMS will be used to organize, maintain and retrieve all documents related to a specific case via its board number. The documents will be available to Conciliators, Judges and the parties to a case without having to maintain a paper file (that is shuffled from office to office) and can be damaged or lost. The agency will not have to rely on a courier shipping paper files to its regional offices for court dates. The Judge or Conciliator will have access to the documents they need on their desktop computer instantly through the DMS which will be linked to the DIA's Case Management System (CMS).
The CMS is a database utilized by the agency to operate its court system. When each case is established, it is given a unique identifier known as a board number. All board numbers represent a specific case involving an injured worker, an employer and an insurer. Each party may have cause to file various documents with DIA throughout the dispute resolution process. Currently, anyone (internally or externally) seeking to obtain a board file, or a document contained therein, must make a request for that document. The request is then processed, the documents are retrieved from the paper file (this can take days) and the requesting party is notified when the documents become available. The person who requests the file nearly always makes copies (creating even more documents) before returning the original to the file room. External parties often make requests for documents from a particular case only to re-file that same document with the DIA at a proceeding or in a motion. This makes multiple copies of the same document within a case file very common.
To achieve a fully functioning DMS all documents related the case files must be stored electronically and in a uniform manner. This means that all parties to cases filed with the DIA will be required to prepare their documentation to DIA's specifications in order to have them accepted at any proceeding - see the Document Preparation section below. The only exception may be for Pro-se injured workers (those without legal representation) and who do not have access to the Internet.
In addition, a DMS will streamline the claims administration procedures by eliminating the need to process, store and retrieve paper files, thus making the process more efficient and cost effective.
This system will also be a great asset in responding to Public Records Requests and subpoenas. The DMS will allow the agency to provide redacted copies of documents to requesting parties without having to print them out, redact the sensitive information and then mail them, thus saving time effort and postage. Subpoenaed documents could be sent electronically to the presiding court in minutes - provided that the other court agrees to accept them in this manner.
The parties involved in a case could retrieve documents any time from any computer with Internet access and be assured that proper security is in place that prevents unauthorized persons from having access to private or sensitive information.
The primary purpose of establishing an electronic document platform is to streamline the claims administration and dispute resolution processes and to reduce the retention of paper files. Over time, the ultimate goal is to eliminate the need for the storage of any paper files.
Tutorial #1 - Creating Cover Sheets file size 2MB
Tutorial #2 - Viewing Case Files Online file size 1MB