Altia’s SmartCase revolutionises how AuditOne manages fraud & workplace investigations.

In 2016, NHS finance directors from across the North East of England decided to bring together four separate NHS audit consortiums to form AuditOne. This was done to create a regional centre of excellence for NHS internal audit, counter fraud and technology risk assurance across the North East of England. AuditOne is an NHS not-for-profit consortium, hosted by Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust.

As well as delivering its core internal audit, counter fraud and technology risk assurance services, AuditOne in recent years has further developed additional services to support its consortium members. This includes a new dedicated education assurance team and specialist workplace conflict and investigation service called WorkforceOne. In partnership with Northumbria University AuditOne has also launched a specialist training service combining the academic expertise of the university law school with practitioner-led input of AuditOne.
Courses include fraud case management and conflict resolution.

AuditOne provides services to 22 NHS organisations, 13 further education organisations, 2 local government organisations and 5 private sector and charity organisations

The Challenges and The Solution.

In bringing together the collective resources of four consortiums to form AuditOne, it allowed the new organisation to refocus on the development of service delivery and as a result, the counter fraud team embarked upon a service transformation programme. During this journey, it identified two key drivers
for change:

  • To replace compliant but inefficient systems and processes, embracing business process automation.
  • The ability to drive service improvement, efficiency and insight through better recording and reporting of metrics and data.

The journey to change identified that new processes were required to enable fraud investigations to be managed more efficiently. By embracing the recommended changes, the team in the last four years has seen a significant 25% year on year increase in the number of referrals received and this is expected to continue to grow. Such levels were no longer able to be managed on a spreadsheet, in a manual way and with shared folders. Working with over 42 organisations, with a team of 16 working across 6,000 square miles, proved challenging with manual-based processes.

With over ten clunky parts to the investigation process managed manually, AuditOne identified that software was required to centralise and automate its investigation processes and workflows to make them more streamlined. Historically, all this information was held on separate spreadsheets with a single investigation cycle feeding several different spreadsheets and this was not using resources to the best effect, disconnected and extremely time-consuming.

With referral numbers growing year on year, AuditOne engaged with Altia to assess and ultimately purchase SmartCase, its no-code tailorable case management solution, to deliver the desired requirements of a new fraud investigation solution to support the organisations plans, and also to adapt and underpin the growing demand on the business to undertake criminal and workplace investigations. It has brought all of the processes together into one easy to use platform, while maintaining all compliance and auditing requirements.

From an investigation and time-saving point of view, it has enabled the accurate recording of the time spent on a specific investigation, calculated in multiple ways, to enable accurate billing for clients at the push of a button! This is now one
of the biggest time savings that have been realised from implementing the software. The introduction of SmartCase has enabled staff to work more efficiently, enabling them to focus on delivering the investigations, and drives ongoing business improvements.

Reporting Metrics

Another key driver for automating all of the processes within one software solution was
the ability to drive reporting metrics.

Historically, it took considerable time to extract the relevant information from the various spreadsheets, files and manual systems.

With the introduction of SmartCase, AuditOne can now at the click of a button:

  • Produce powerful reports
  • Drill down into the data
  • Visualise key performance indicators on customisable dashboards

As a result, data is now driving the strategy of the organisation.

The ten clunky processes are now handled within SmartCase:

  • Full investigation cycle process, from initial referral to outcome and sanctions
  • Witness statements
  • Suspect’s interviews
  • Metrics
  • Stakeholder reporting
  • Workloads
  • Over 1,000 recommendations a year for service improvements and internal control breaches.

“Following the first demonstration of the SmartCase solution using our information and data, I realised this would revolutionise how we managed our investigations. You can not underestimate the power of the solution. Although we had systems in place, they were manual, disjointed and each step had its separate process and was causing massive inefficiencies. SmartCase very quickly revolutionised how we work. It is a brilliant system that ticks all the boxes I needed it to tick at the outset.

Working with the team at Altia has been a pleasure and we now have a system that has increased our efficiency and ability to carry out seamless investigations. The system is easy to understand, navigate and extract meaningful data from and can be used in any investigation setting across any sector carrying out investigations. I can see it playing a key role in managing all of our HR investigation cases.”

Terry Smith – Operations Director, AuditOne

The Next Stage – HR Disciplinary
Investigation Management

AuditOne is continuing to work with Altia to adapt the SmartCase solution used for criminal investigations to also incorporate workplace investigations. This will again be a departure from the current manual paper and spreadsheet system used to manage HR investigations
for its NHS clients.

It is being driven by the exponentially growing demand for such a service and the need for effective management of such investigations within the NHS.

With a continued drive from NHS Improvement to ensure all NHS organisations internal investigations are handled efficiently and effectively, the use of SmartCase could help drive these improvements enabling organisations to robustly manage the investigation process and monitor progress and deadlines. SmartCase is an off-the-shelf solution that will be available for NHS organisations nationwide.

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