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Subpanel not updating with correct info from custom module

Question asked by Craig Wilson on Mar 24, 2014
Latest reply on Mar 25, 2014 by Jason Eggers
I have a custom module called "Policies" that has a 1-to-many relationship with "Contacts". The "Policies" subpanel under a "Contacts" record is where our customer service reps can go to quickly glance at all policies under a particular contact's name and see their status, type, number, etc.

I've been approached by the head of customer service a number of times with the complaint that Policy records are not always updating under a Contact's record.

Here's the issue:
  • The "Status" field of a "Policies" record (let's say its a life insurance policy, for example) is updated by a claims rep under the Edit view of the custom "Policies" module. The status is changed from "In Force" to "Death Claim - Pending," and finally, "Death Claim - Paid Out". 
  • Some months later, a service rep opens the Contact record and glances down the list of records under the "Policies" subpanel (the policies purchased by that Contact). The service rep sees that the Status of the policy is still incorrectly listed as "In Force". Note that the status was changed multiple times several months ago (sometimes upwards of 6 months).
  • The service rep clicks the Policy record to open it within the detail view of the custom "Policies" module, and sees that the status is actually "Death Claim - Paid Out." This is an extra click that our reps must now be concerned about when on a call with a customer.
So, quick summary of my issue:
  • Custom module "Policies" has a 1-to-many with "Contacts."
  • "Policies" subpanel under a "Contacts" record will sometimes fail to show the correct information (the actual current value of the fields) for a long, long time (fields sometimes won't update for months or more).
  • Opening the custom module's list view and its records detail view does show current info, but that's an extra click in our service reps' typical use case.
SO... How do I make sure that the subpanels for my custom modules are displaying the most correct, most current information? How do I ensure that a subpanel for a custom module is actually updating/refreshing the values of the fields it displays?