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KM tackles tough e-gov challenges

One major impediment to service delivery was that nurses were required to return to their offices to obtain patient referrals and access patient information. The Mobile Remote Workforce application allows nurses to remain in the field by providing a Web-based referral system that they can access remotely. The system has improved the consistency and speed of information collection through the use of online forms. Nurses can also remotely access a database containing case information.

An important component of the project’s development phase was the input received from each stakeholder. “Our partnership with hospitals, health centers, clinics, schools and other agencies helped ensure that the new system met their requirements,” says Nick Macchione, deputy director of HHSA. In addition, lessons learned have been applied to other county projects now under development.

The numbers

The impact of the Mobile Remote Workforce Innovation has been impressive. A sustainable increase in productivity of 25 percent was achieved, along with a cost avoidance of $8 million over a three-year period. The satisfaction rate among referring agencies was 100 percent, in part because the system helps them comply with requirements of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. Finally, an increased standard of care was achieved through streamlining the process, reducing the time for a nurse to receive a referral from a range of 1 to 74 days down to just one day for 100 percent of the referrals.

Push and pull in government

“On the one hand, we have tight budgets at all levels of government,” says Teresa Bozzelli, COO and managing director of Government Insights, an IDC company. “On the other, we see rising expectations on the part of citizens for performance and accountability.” That gap will only intensify in coming years, according to Bozzelli.

“Agencies need to consider what technologies could be transformative in managing the gap created by limited resources and increasing demands,” Bozzelli continues. “Having the information available to make improved decisions is critical to reconciling the two.”

At the heart of maintaining the information flow will be the ability to transfer information across organizational boundaries in a seamless and secure manner. “The concepts, tools and techniques provided by knowledge management are foundational to moving us along and achieving that result,” says Bozzelli. 

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