El Paso County Public Health Increases Efficiency with Better Data Management
County performs 33% more inspections and tightens control over agency finances
Antiquated software systems provided unreliable data, causing the Environmental Health Division of El Paso County to inefficiently track productivity, justify fees, monitor accounts and provide information to the State and other managing bodies. Most importantly, disparate data systems meant management could not take measure of their public health impact.
With a paper-based system Tom Gonzales, El Paso County’s Director of Environmental Health, could see that it was difficult for the County to track programs, monitor agency finances and efficiently perform inspections. Environmental Health Specialists were using paper forms to perform inspections and would have to return to the office to enter tedious inspection data, capping each inspector at two inspections per day.
HOW ACCELA EMPOWERS EL PASO
Gonzales knew it was time for a change. “We needed to go paperless and we needed to be mobile. Our environmental health specialists have four-year degrees. They shouldn’t be behind a desk doing data entry; they should be out doing their jobs.” Gonzales had prior experience with Accela Environmental Health and had been very impressed with the solution’s broad reach of capabilities. Once leadership was on board, El Paso decided to move forward with implementation.
Gonzales enlisted Chris Wright, an experienced data analyst, to head the project. Key players from each program met with Wright weekly to be trained, provide input and assist with configuration of the system. Since the beginning, their efforts focused on collecting the data that heavily impacts the community.
THE BOTTOM LINE
With Accela, El Paso County has been able to consolidate food inspection and pool inspection forms and, in turn, created a dynamic consumer health inspection form. The solution has enabled El Paso County Public Health to increase efficiency with the ability to do 33% more inspections. Inspectors can complete inspections on a mobile device in the field and, where possible, multiple inspections have been consolidated into one visit. El Paso was able to bring back three programs that were shelved during the 2008 economic downturn, without having to hire additional staff.
With the solution, Gonzales and Wright can email inspection information and post it online. Because of this, annual paper costs are down by almost 50%. Additionally, Gonzalez no longer has to guess about time and activity to plan fees. With Accela, he is able to quickly run a report that totals time spent on each service. Accela Environmental Health has provided instant access to essential data, empowering El Paso to better preserve public health.
Reduced annual paper costs by 50%
Consolidated various inspection forms to create a single consumer health inspection form
Increased transparency, making information easily accessible to staff and citizens