Arapahoe County News

Posted on: September 28, 2017

Arapahoe County DHS to share award winning workflow strategies in multi-county project

Arapahoe County’s leading workflow management system with proven results to lower customer wait times and error rates has been on the wish list for many other Colorado Counties. Three counties will wait no more. HSConnects, the award winning software developed by Arapahoe County Department of Human Services and Information Technology will soon share its enterprise with Adams, El Paso and Pueblo Counties through a multi-County project thanks to more than $800,000 in federal and state funds.

“Customers in Adams, El Paso and Pueblo Counties will applaud the improved customer service HSConnects will bring to them,” said Arapahoe County Commissioner Nancy Sharpe. “We are so proud of this software and it is a win for us when we get to help other counties to be more successful.”

Here’s how HSConnects works: Using high-speed document scanners to digitize documents, HSConnects then reads the State’s program systems to determine when a case is due, who the documents should be routed to, and prioritizes work based upon the due date of every case with documents in the queue. HSConnects ensures that the most pressing case is worked first—every time. The system also allows work to be transferred, reassigned or moved to a different priority to ensure all work is processed in a timely fashion.

“Our job is to bring efficiency to the workplace and we saw the growth in Arapahoe County’s caseload having a big impact on workflow,” said David Bessen, Information Technology Director. “We needed to address the needs of our staff as well as our citizens and believe we have been able to find the answer through HSConnects. We are happy to share our product with other counties.”

HSConnects was developed in Arapahoe County in response to a need to handle a growing annual caseload of nearly 100,000 cases. Since it was launched in 2015, HSConnects significantly improved customer service while refining business processes and workflow management. The software maximized resources and increased efficiencies in Human Services, streamlining the application process by 92 percent. The submittal process went from 25 minutes to two minutes. Once an application is submitted, caseworkers can access the information instantly, allowing for quicker response times.

The error rate dropped dramatically, from 30 percent to nearly zero. The County saved four million sheets of paper since 2015 and nearly $1.5 million in temporary staffing and overtime costs.

“When it was all hard copies, we spent a lot of time shuffling through paperwork and we were afraid of losing important customer documents,” said Bob Prevost, Deputy Director. “Now, we don’t worry about that anymore, we haven’t lost a single document since we launched HSConnects.”

This efficiency allowed Arapahoe County to become one of two large Colorado counties to comply with Federal and State timeliness mandates in 2016. Arapahoe County received the 2016 C-Stat Distinguished Performance award from the Colorado Department of Human Services for outstanding performance. The National Association of Counties recognized Arapahoe County with a 2017 Achievement Award for HSConnects.

Adams, El Paso and Pueblo Counties will expect to see improvements and savings in their processes as HSConnects is implemented for food assistance and Health First Colorado, Colorado’s Medicaid program. The three counties will pay a modest subscription fee to allow Arapahoe County to recoup its development and implementation costs.

“We are excited to see the enhancements that HSConnects is expected to bring to our County,” said Julie Krow, El Paso County DHS Executive Director. “The improvements will benefit those that we serve and DHS staff, especially as they interact with clients.”

Arapahoe County currently uses HSConnects for Food Assistance, Health First Colorado, Colorado Works and Adult Financial programs. The plan is to expand HSConnects to Child Support Services, Child Care and Child and Adult Protection Services in the near future.

“It’s definitely a system that will continue to increase our efficiencies and save money,” said Cheryl Ternes, Human Services Director. “We look forward to working with the three counties and expect more counties to knock on our doors soon.”

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