Solution Provided By: Chelsey Hulsey Pedersen, Laserfiche Specialist, Cowlitz County
Cowlitz County, WA has a population of over 102,000 residents. When the COVID-19 virus hit, the state of Washington issued a Stay Home, Stay Healthy order, which means non-essential businesses are not able to operate and social gatherings are more or less prohibited. In order to respond to this crisis, the county created a cooperative, multi-jurisdiction, multi-discipline group of people to act as the Incident Management Team.
The County Needed a Central Repository for All Related Documents
Not every county agency has Laserfiche, so the team had to come up with some creative solution to get this diverse group utilizing a secure central source to hold their documents, to collect data and convey critical information.
The county decided to store all related files in the Laserfiche repository. A team member tracks down all electronic files from various network folders, as well as cloud storage services, and imports them into Laserfiche. The team member also scans in any physical files. After import, the team member applies the appropriate template and populates the fields. A workflow routes the indexed documents to the correct folder in the repository for archival.
Documents are stored by type. Shortcuts to documents are also placed in folders pertaining to day so that it is easy to review everything that happened on a given day at a glance.
An Electronic Form is Used to Survey Care Facilities
Another critical process that has been streamlined using Laserfiche is surveying various long term care facilities such as retirement homes to determine their personal protective equipment (PPE) supply and testing capacity. Before the Forms process was implemented, a member of the incident management team would reach out to these facilities daily by phone to get these questions answered. An electronic form streamlines information gathering as staff at facilities can fill out the form and submit it themselves.
A delegate from each facility fills out the form daily to report the facility’s status. A member of the incident management team can review the submissions in the repository or by using a simple dashboard that shows an overview of each facility at a glance.
This dashboard is simply another Laserfiche form that compiles all the information from the various submissions in one place. After each form is submitted, the information in the form is saved in a database. This makes it easy to pull and display in the dashboard.
The county started by surveying six facilities but now surveys 20 different facilities and new ones come on board as needed.
Laserfiche Provides Citizens with the Most Updated Information
As the county receives new test results for COVID-19, the public information team has been keeping the public informed by issuing a press release for each positive case that details the patient’s general age, gender and current status.
This information is now listed on the county’s special COVID-19 website. In order to generate that report, data is captured first through Forms and then stored in a database. The data is pushed into another form that is embedded in the website through an iFrame. The website report is updated automatically if there are any changes to the data.
This simple process has considerably reduced the public information team’s workload. The team can focus on getting information out to the public instead of up constantly updating the website.
Laserfiche Keeps the Public Educated About Compliance with the Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order
Another way that Forms has helped the Cowlitz County Incident Management Team is through the noncompliance inquiry form.
Prior to implementing this Forms process, the county’s 911 call center was inundated with people calling to report what they believed were violations of the governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. In order to allow the 911 call center to tend to more pressing emergencies, the county developed a noncompliance inquiry form.
A law enforcement officer reviews each inquiry and follows up with the subject of the complaint to educate them about how they can continue through this period of quarantine safely. In just three weeks after implementation, the county closed out over 160 inquiries.