Like all regulatory agencies, those that protect children and vulnerable adults share information constantly. Licensing officials share information with service providers and with the public. Information flows between regulatory officials and vendors that manage background checks. It moves, too, between separate agencies that provide related services.
If a regulatory agency must share information, then its software system must as well. Fortunately, such systems are well-suited to automating the flow of information that must be shared on a regular basis.
Regulatory agencies and their partners benefit from automated information sharing in several ways. Regular updates ensure that related agencies operate with the same, up-to-date information. Sharing data with vendors speeds up processes that rely upon fee payments, background checks and other services. Automated information-sharing also reduces the workload of agency staff and eliminates mistakes that could endanger the people an agency protects.
So, how does this information move around?
Interfaces allow data to be exchanged securely between an agency’s system and those of other agencies and vendors. Interfaces are often described as pipes that allow data to flow back and forth, but metaphors don’t capture their flexibility. While pipes tend to come in standard diameters, interfaces can be built to share information in many different ways and on many different schedules.
Examples of GL Solutions’ Interfaces
Because examples are often more useful than analogies, below are just a few of the interfaces GL Solutions has built for child-care agencies in recent months:
- A pair of interfaces allow information to be exchanged between one agency’s licensing system and a human-rights information system maintained by the same state. Information related to complaints and serious incidents recorded by the human-rights system moves several times every day to the licensing system, which manages investigations and enforcement. Once every day, meanwhile, the licensing system automatically provides updated licensee information to the human-rights system.
- Once every day, that agency’s licensing system makes basic provider information available to the state’s Medicaid database. As requested by the agency, the interface moves the information to a location from which it can be downloaded.
- A pair of interfaces move information to and from Fieldprint, a company that scans fingerprints and facilitates background checks. The licensing system sends contact information to Fieldprint, and Fieldprint returns a list of people who have submitted their fingerprints on the previous day.
- An interface developed for another agency automatically moves licensee information to the state’s eligibility system for economic assistance benefits.
- Another interface for the same agency moves licensee information automatically to a website that allows the public to research child-care providers.
- An interface allows providers applying for and renewing licenses online to make payments through the state’s financial department.
Interfaces are as unique as the agencies that use them. GL Solutions has built hundreds over the last quarter century for scores of regulatory agencies, from boards of architecture to weapons licensing offices.