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The checklist started as a reviewer’s tool to help track all the basic items needed for an application. From a general Word document to a manual show and hide system in Excel to the automated system developed in 2014 by a colleague. When he retired a year later I was tasked with the continual update of the tool. I have made multiple changes to the vb.net code behind the check boxes and also used it as inspiration for other tools. It is used on a daily basis with the 30-50 apps I process each month.
It has a tool now for printing the worksheets by name which in addition to the checklist customized for each application includes a worksheet for the background check requirement. It is also more diligently commented in the code to allow others to know where and how to update it. During one update additional space was allowed behind the scenes for future changes. There are over 1000 lines of code and it generally takes a day or so of uninterrupted time to do a full change and edit to the system. Small changes are faster. There is a chance that another manual list will be integrated later this year as regulations change.
The Checklist went through another major change process in December 2017, just before I left. Since only I knew how to maintain the original I was asked to create a simplified variation that my remaining team mates could take care of in the future. I based my new checklist off of another project I’d done in the spring, the Compliance Checklist.
While being a clerk has been one of my titles the same duties carried over to being a Senior Services Tech. The number of files for provider certification has varied over the years but has always been more than 800. That is agencies and individual care coordinators that the division certifies.
Each of those providers has multiple files. A hard file, an electronic file and a database entry. Each has to reflect the others and older materials have to be archived just in case there is an audit in the future.
The processes I complete almost unconsciously have been either developed or modified by me in the last several years. I do the primary process of issuing reminder letters, entering providers and various notes into the database and preparing the file for review.
After the review process is complete I take the final file and add it to a current file replacing older materials and archiving them or creating a complete new file as needed. During this file process I check that the required items are present via a tagging system developed internally that matches a checklist. Any files with errors are returned to the worker who signed off on the application for corrections.
In addition to the certified agencies there are a number of other agencies or providers that the division cares about and it has fallen to me to keep track of these providers as well. Some are a once a year quick database only update and others require detailed maintenance and changes as part of the general certification process as they are a setting that is contracted to a certified provider. No matter what the number of provider records I maintain numbers over 1200.
An additional type of file I care for is the closed providers which by the time the file gets to me I have to deconstruct and label it to enter it into a separate database. This is a tracking system I am one of the administrators for and have steered many changes and improvements to the system.
This is just a teeny peek at a segment of the things I do.
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.