Pretend you run a state regulatory agency that has two seemingly unrelated problems. You don’t know what a solution to either might look like, but you know that both are robbing your staff of efficiency.
Is it too early to call a software vendor for help?
Of course not. Software vendors specialize in solving such problems, and a cost-effective solution to yours is probably just a phone call or email away.
Consider the Wisconsin health agency that approached us recently with a two-part predicament. One part involved background checks. The other involved case management.
Like many state agencies, this office has a unique mission driven by legislation. It investigates allegations of misconduct involving health-care providers licensed by a separate division. It also conducts background checks on health-care staff and facility operators.
The state-developed software systems used for both functions had some significant shortcomings.
The case management system was really a case tracking system that did not store documents generated during investigations of misconduct. In fact, the system wasn’t used during the investigation at all. Investigative materials were stored in folders outside of the system.
The background check system, meanwhile, consisted largely of a website into which licensees and providers entered information related to requests. The website sent requests to the agency office, which ran the checks through a separate system.
Neither system featured a database the office could use to store and search information. Privacy breaches and system crashes also were a problem. The agency wanted to know whether we could develop user-friendly database systems for both case management and background checks. The answer was “yes.”
Typically, regulatory agencies approach vendors – or release RFPs – when they’re ready to buy complete systems. But vendors often can offer affordable modular solutions for agencies experiencing problems with specific types of work, such as report writing, or looking for help with unrelated agency functions, such as background checks and case management.
If you want to know how software could help address headaches and efficiencies at your agencies, send your problem to our experts. We’ll discuss your challenges and respond to your question in an upcoming newsletter. Send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org, and write “Ask the Geek” in the subject line.
If you have questions, our geeks have answers.