Form Portal and Electronic Signatures Improve Services Offer By A CAP
- December 24, 2018
- Posted by: Larry Phelps
As the Community Services Supervisor in Douglas County, Colorado, Rand Clark needed a digital solution that allowed his public Community Action Agency (CAP) the ability to collect, store, and share vital documents to provide the appropriate care for the most vulnerable population in his community. Paige Teagarden from empowOR talked to Hemingway Solutions since they have been helping CAP agencies go paperless for many years. After seeing a proof of concept demo, Paige suggested to Rand that they integrate Laserfiche with empowOR to provide this capability. Since Hemingway Solutions is the premier paper-less solution provider for Community Action Agencies, Clark knew he had to start utilizing Laserfiche’s Enterprise Content Management system provided by Hemingway Solutions. Since the agency already utilized empowOR, Hemingway Solutions could seamlessly integrate Laserfiche so that it complemented the robust features that empowOR already offered him and his team.
Servicing the most vulnerable residents in the county, the Community of Care network is comprised of 20 various non-profit and public agencies that all strive to help everyone in Douglas County thrive. The county has won awards for being one of the better digital counties, which indicates how much time and effort they put into having one effective system for all their agencies to access. The use of the Laserfiche program helps them further with their mission as they continue to enhance their use of open data sources, document records management, and more.
Like other CAP Agencies, Clark needed custom-built workflows and forms that would meet his specific needs, so that all agencies would be able to benefit from one Release of Information document. “We’ve been using empowOR for almost two years now,” Clark said. “We started with one collaborative project, working with 40-50 families a year with case management, and coordinated entry for emergency shelter during the winter season. Since then, we’ve expanded to all 20 different agencies. This medium allows all installations of the program to talk to each other across different agencies. There are about 300 users with records on about 15,000 constituents in our community.”
It is important that Clark look at holistic, coordinated care for vulnerable populations within Douglas County, including those living in poverty, those who are aging, those who have disabilities, and the like. His organization partners with dozens of nonprofit agencies around the county, using state and federal funds to deliver direct services. Clark needed to bring all of them together via a central data system to provide them with a more efficient and effective way to share documents and releases.
“Generally, we use a lot of shared data,” he explains. “If a person goes to one agency and then later to another agency, both agencies know what’s going on with that person, thanks to our shared system,” Clark explains that this is a huge win for his CAP, given many in the community use several agencies and their services at once. He says, “Let’s say someone calls my organization for groceries, transportation, and in-home services. I can take care of their transportation needs and then recommend them to another agency via empowOR, since all the data is shared between our agencies. They are able to look up the person and see that they already have service from us and won’t need to sign any more paperwork to help with the rest of their needs.”
Since empowOR is seamlessly integrated with Laserfiche, Clark and his team now offer more efficient delivery of services to their residents. Clark wanted to have only one Release of Information form signed one time, at one place. It needed to be used across various agencies and had to be able to be shared because it would cover everybody across their system. “When we started looking at the feasibility around that system, the reality was the capture of electronic signature and digital storage of that record could then be shared across agencies and would be the most efficient and the best way to get to that end.” So, if a resident went to an agency and filled out the Release of Information, all agencies would have access to its data.
“The ability to digitalize that and automate the process was really important to us long-term. Not only are we inside of empowOR regularly, but we also needed to share data with a custom Laserfiche form. So when it’s electronically signed, it goes back into the system and is accessible to everyone. The system even knows when the release is expiring and will alert that person taking the form to get a new one from the resident,” says Clark.
Thanks to Laserfiche, Clark can have an electronic form for those who can’t get into an agency. Someone can fill out the form online so that they can benefit from any needed services faster. “It used to be that we couldn’t help people unless they physically came to an agency. But now with the use of Laserfiche Forms we can get the application started before they come to the office.
Besides the convenience Laserfiche provides Clark and his team, he admits it’s been a game-changer when it comes to reducing time spent on scanning and uploading documents. We have been serving 12,000 people a year, and staff and volunteers are often overwhelmed by the workload needed to get the documents in the system.” It’s had a huge impact on our end, thanks to digitalizing the process since it saves us time.”
In a community where many residents are getting help from more than one agency, he’s proud to say that he’s been able to reduce the number of times they have to sign and submit the same information time and time again. Now they only electronically sign the document once, and it’s stored securely and ready to be shared with the appropriate permissions.
Laserfiche has also been great at providing better cybersecurity for its residents. The scanning and emailing of documents placed personal and vital information of the county’s residents at risk. Now, personal and sensitive information is handled with the utmost care to ensure the privacy and security of the data, thanks to Laserfiche and Laserfiche Forms.