Illinois DHS digitizes its big data

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The Illinois Department of Human Services had more than 100 million pieces of paper stored in case files, consuming space as well as caseworker time. In addition to documents verifying the eligibility of applicants, the agency had to keep records of customer visits throughout the process.

Scanning all those documents wasn’t possible because of the cost involved, so DHS decided to digitize three forms critical to the benefit eligibility determination process. DHS learned that digitizing those forms, through the use of IBM Enterprise Content Management big data technologies, would eliminate 7 million pieces of paper per year and save $1 million. The forms are now filed automatically as PDF files in an electronic customer case file in the department’s internal Concurrent system.

Doug Kasamis, chief information officer at DHS, says, “We recognize that our caseworkers can best serve their customers by spending time with them. Using IBM software, we’ve been able to eliminate millions of pieces of paper from our processes. This has enabled DHS caseworkers to spend more time focusing on the needs of their clients and not on battling paperwork."

More than 2,000 caseworkers use IBM Enterprise Content Management big data technologies. Based on the information provided by customers, the system determines program eligibility, assigns metadata and stores the electronic forms in a central repository for later retrieval. Caseworker time spent retrieving information has dropped from days to just seconds.

DHS Secretary Michelle R.B. Saddler says, “The solution is an excellent example of state government and private industry working together to develop strategies for maximizing our limited resources. Just as important, the IBM software solution helps us streamline our local offices and improve efficiency, which in turn enhances the workplace, employee morale and service to our customers.”

(Image courtesy of ShutterStock.com)

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