Enterprise Content Management System Eliminates Paper Record Storage And Eases Field Visits For Case Workers
The Crawford County Human Services office provides intake and case management services for Mental Health, Mental Retardation, Early Intervention, and Children and Youth Services. Even in a county with a smaller population, more information is generated each day, and the challenge is to efficiently manage the information with ease, as to provide access to the information in a timely manner. Because of the nature of the department’s work, certain documents must be kept permanently, thus adding to the cost of labor and space dedicated to archival.
Crawford County sought to improve productivity and quality of client service by implementing an electronic imaging system with the goal of automating and streamlining the document process, thereby reducing the amount of time required to capture, index and/or retrieve documents.
Enterprise Content Management Needs
Much of a county case worker’s time is spent in client homes, talking with parents and family members or monitoring and evaluating situations. For this reason, having remote access to all records pertaining to their cases was imperative. These records not only include the client’s personal
information, but also other important statistics required for the filing of State and County forms. Further, the County needed a system that allowed for easy search and retrieval by consistent search terms, such as a last name or ID number.
Crawford County’s Human Services Department required a system that would allow for information sharing with other agencies that interact with the same family and, in some cases, with multiple family members. In addition, the ability for case managers to remotely access all necessary information to their respective caseloads was an integral component.
With guidance from KeyMark (formerly IMR), Crawford County implemented an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system to improve overall productivity and management of the documents required for the County’s case management. The initial ECM implementation was done in the Human Services department.
The ECM system contains three key components — scanning source documents into the system, document indexing, and establishing document categories and keywords to assist with archiving.
First, KeyMark installed ECM system compliant, high-speed scanners, and document imaging modules. Electronic document images were created from scans of source documents, such as complaint reports, family service plans, correspondence, etc. Users have the ability to scan individual documents or large batches into user defined queues.
Once scanned into the ECM system, a case number, along with other relevant information, was used to index the various documents as they related to each court case. Autofill modules in the system enabled automatic indexing, as well as integration with the CAPS case management system.
KeyMark provided training and assistance to Crawford County to customize document groups, document types and associated keywords to facilitate document indexing and archiving. County personnel are also able to utilize ongoing training so they can be as self-sufficient as possible in supporting future changes to their environment.
Human Services cases run the gamut from simple to complex, and most case workers have large caseloads that require tracking for many years. The ability of the department to electronically retain those records in such a way that is accessible is a major accomplishment. Because the records can be simultaneously accessed, case workers in the field can review an issue with a case manager or other agency at the same time. This ensures that everyone dealing with a particular family is on the same page regarding care, recommendations and future expectations. This step alone has eliminated countless phone calls, emails and other attempts at communicating between individuals who are already difficult to reach.
With each caseworker armed with a laptop and an air card to access the database and all relevant documents, the quality of work and ability to complete work in a timely manner has improved. Being able to double check a statistic or review a prior issue while still onsite is an enormous benefit to the caseworker.
Likewise, the ability to review the role of other agencies and departments in a particular case adds a layer of checks and balances to the process. When dealing with situations in homes where abuse or other problems have occurred, caseworkers can ensure an added level of protection for the child or family members by making certain that other agencies are aware of the particular incident. Because all documents within the system can be printed, faxed, or emailed directly from each terminal, additional time is saved when records must be sent to other parties.
The implementation of the ECM system has made the Human Services Department more accountable, more efficient and more integrated with other human service agencies throughout Crawford County, ultimately resulting in better service to County residents. The efficiency of the new system provides Crawford County with a more cost effective means of providing those in need with appropriate services, thus allowing employees to focus on the development of new programs, seek additional grant dollars, or spend additional time on cases that require extra attention.
About Crawford County Human Services
Crawford County is located in Northwestern Pennsylvania, where it is
bordered by Ohio on the west. The County covers 1,012 square miles, and as
reported in the 2000 census, has more than 90,000 residents. The County’s
mission is “to maintain the virtues of this County by providing a stable and
accessible government, preserving its agricultural and manufacturing
heritage, upholding its rich history, and perpetuating its peoples’ fervent