The State has several types of providers who were previously “invisible” to management statistically. We knew they exist but really did not know exactly who they were or where the clients were. Frequently, the clients served were placed in a wrong environment and all sorts of havoc would happen when something went wrong.
My supervisor was agonizing over the issue one afternoon and I could hear her snarling to herself in her office across from me. After a while of listening I decided to take a break from my own work to see if there was anything I could possibly do to help.
She explained that there’d been an incident and she felt helpless to have prevented it because of a lack of data available internally. She had no idea where the clients lived or who the home contracted with that was supposed to be providing oversight.
As she explained the dilemma, I sympathized and promised to think a bit about the issue.
Being the geek I am, I thought first of an Excel system but realized it’d be cumbersome to keep updated. We needed something to be built into a current system that was consistently used and updated. I immediately thought of our current “DS3” database that housed everything and the different connections used in it. Further reflection gave me a flash of insight and an idea. The system connected our Care Coordinators to their parent agency why couldn’t we do the same thing for this type of contracted home?
Of course this brilliant flash came at 3 pm on a Friday with not enough time to really sit and think on much but over the coming months I would be brought into multiple meetings with IT and management to explain to both my idea.
In October 2013 the idea became a reality and I was called upon to send out a formal Records Request to the providers that were identified and ask for information to fill in our database gaps. I am still currently tasked with updating this sizable chunk of data as the state moves forward towards a new system.