We interviewed the Collin County team to discuss how they used Laserfiche to improve their business processes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Collin County is no stranger to Laserfiche, in fact, they are thought leaders in their industry when it comes to their working knowledge regarding the content services platform. When the pandemic threw their team into high gear, they accepted the challenge to assist their team in every aspect possible. “We quickly realized the need for streamlining processes and adding more Laserfiche Forms,” said Tim Nolan, Senior Applications Manager.
The Solution – Business Process Automation (BPA)
Remote-Work Request Form
Like many organizations trying to implement telework, obtaining workstation approval was also a challenge for the Collin County team. With a limited number of laptops, they wanted the employees that had to go remote first to have priority over the existing resources. They needed a process to review requests for workstations, and track inventory for who had the equipment. They quickly built a Laserfiche Form for employees, both exempt and non-exempt, to submit information about why they needed to work remotely, and requests for equipment. They were able to roll this process out in two days, providing a quick solution to the problem.
How the Remote Work Response Support Form Works
Based on specific selections in the form, a workflow routes the request to HR for approval, or directly to IT to address the equipment needs. Once the county implemented this, the communication improved consistently, and the process for employees to transition to remote work is now seamless. This process branched out for hourly employees as well, and the Human Resource Department can review the request, reject or approve from an hourly perspective, and then decide whether said request needs to have equipment issued.
COVID-19 Case Management Form
Pre-COVID-19, the department received disease investigations to handle internally, but when COVID-19 hit, the number of cases overwhelmed the epidemiology staff. They were not currently using any automation in their processes. They found that the manual system didn’t have the capacity to support the amount of data entry and collection all at once. It reached a point that the cases could not physically be processed any longer. They quickly had to find a solution to manage the cases. The requirements for the solution included the following:
- The ability to manage data collection
- Assigning out cases
- Logging the details
- Managing follow-ups
- Reviewing cases
- Managing teams
- Allowing collaboration to pass cases back and forth
The solution for manually collecting the COVID-19 case data? Laserfiche Forms!
Collin County’s Health Department chose Laserfiche to manage the rapid increase of cases to enter all details needed, and monitor the case management process.
Processing information via Laserfiche allows for record creation that can then be shared securely among users who need access without risking cases falling through the cracks.
Choosing Laserfiche & Rolling Out Forms
There were other systems that could have been used, but most were cumbersome. They chose Laserfiche because it provides a tool they could roll out quickly, and staff was already familiar with Laserfiche Forms and how it worked. Having such a simple system to use allowed them to reallocate employees from other departments that may have been furloughed otherwise to help during this time. The Collin County team pulled together and rolled this project out in four days. They made tweaks as needed to meet the demands that were changing rapidly per state and federal laws. The IT Team was able to utilize their project management style of Agile & Mob Programming to release and update as needed to give the departments a strong support system during the roll out.
Reporting & Transparency
It was a necessity to track the cases throughout the county and produce this information for multiple stakeholders. The COVID-19 process is highly complicated, and COVID-19 cases are typically not closed out for several days. Their team designed a consolidated report to show the number of new positive and negative cases, how many transferred, and more. Healthcare was not the only department that prioritized reporting. They built a Judge Report, which allowed the Judge to share information with their cities, businesses, and community– improving overall transparency through the process. The County used out of the box reporting in forms, as well as more custom reporting through Workflow, connected with their SQL database. Laserfiche gave them the flexibility to report in multiple ways and keep everyone informed.
COVID-19 Case Communication with Patients
The Laserfiche Forms process also monitors cases in which the patient has not fully recovered. The workflow provides automatic email updates until the person recovers. Once the case status is marked as recovered, the automated process automatically sends the person recovery documents, such as return to work letters.
Integrating their GIS system with Laserfiche provided the ability to share necessary information with the public, such as the caseload per city. Laserfiche centralized the data with their GIS system to add the geographic component to these reports. Since launching this effort, the report has over 500,000 views. Laserfiche empowered Collin County to collect and monitor case information, understand patient needs, and keep the public informed.
Collin County had many public forms already in place, such as:
- Public Information Requests
- Power Provider Notifications
- Meter Approvals
Departments commented that through COVID-19 remote work, it was just like coming into the office given these processes were already automated.
Collin County learned many lessons from their rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and they won’t stop automating their business processes here. The opportunities for BPA are endless! This experience provided perspective on many levels.
What does the future of Laserfiche use cases look like for the county? Many departments started analyzing their business processes closely, and they are brainstorming for future automation projects. “Moving forward, we’re going to be able to turn around and automate more than what we even thought we would. I think everyone has that mindset now,” L’Cena Parsons proudly shared.