The Volunteer State is home to 6.7 million Tennesseans who benefit from comprehensive programs by the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH).
The department runs disease-specific campaigns like its drive against tuberculosis; conducts health inspections of restaurants, pools and other facilities; handles the distribution and allocation of thousands of grants; and so much more. TDH operates in 100 locations in 95 counties and employs over 3,000 nurses, doctors and administrative staff.
With millions of citizens under their care, public servants at the Tennessee Department of Health have their work cut out for them.
They’re using Caspio’s low-code platform to get the job done.
Information Silos Impact Statewide Operations
The volume of citizens and the variety of tasks represent a handful of challenges for the state’s health agency, particularly when it comes to managing information silos.
“Within the public sector, having information silos is not uncommon. But these silos have a negative impact on the way we provide services,” said Alfredo Ramirez, director of operations analysis for TDH. He and his team are in charge of identifying opportunities for improvement within the business side of the department.
Ramirez pointed out that prior to using Caspio, staff “managed” data with various tools, including Microsoft Access databases and Excel spreadsheets. Unsurprisingly, reconciling information proved to be difficult.
“Data was taken from three or four spreadsheets and is being managed by multiple employees. It was difficult and very time-consuming,” he said.
Breaking Down Silos for Better Data Management
After evaluating all their existing processes, Ramirez and his team set a goal: Create a more integrated workflow across their budget, procurement, accounts and records management teams.
The department also wanted to:
- Centralize information across teams
- Eliminate data redundancy
- Reduce duplication of effort
- Improve accuracy and efficiency
- Provide user-friendly tools to employees
Ramirez, who was brought in specifically to investigate all the information silos that had appeared across the department, believed he needed help from IT to address their data management challenges.
However, IT resources were already dedicated to fulfilling bigger state projects that directly impact health services.
Requirements to Finding the Right Technology Partner
The department then looked at the various options available to them. They evaluated Microsoft SharePoint and PeopleSoft, an Oracle product used by the state’s finance department.
Ramirez wanted a solution where they can convert spreadsheets into online databases, as well as migrate existing MS Access databases to a centralized cloud location. Since IT would not be building the solution, he also needed a visual application builder to create web forms and other custom apps without coding.
In the end, it was Caspio that checked off all of his requirements.
Technical requirements aside, there’s the budget concern. Most of the vendors they considered charged on a per-user basis. Since over 3,000 people would be using the applications, that would require quite a lot of taxpayers’ money.
Thankfully, Caspio’s pricing model allows unlimited users, making it a scalable, cost-effective and worthy investment for TDH.
Streamlining Processes, Saving Money, Gaining Visibility
Using Caspio, Ramirez and his team started building an invoice tracking system. The process was previously managed across multiple spreadsheets and was handled by three or four people. It was the first of many online database applications they created.
They also launched a cost allocation and documentation app that tracked millions of dollars’ worth of hours rendered by local health departments. Another custom-built application focused on the management and monitoring of thousands of grants which TDH receives annually.
Ramirez also developed a sophisticated inventory control system that monitors the department’s 20,000 assets. The project had been in development with IT for 18 months, costing the department upwards of $100,000. Using Caspio, the app was completed within two months.
The system automates asset assignment, approval workflows, user-level access, email notifications, and even includes a helpdesk ticketing system. Through the app, all users receive an email twice a year to reconfirm if they still have the company’s assets on hand. This gives TDH 97% visibility of their assets.
Using Low-Code to Improve Government
TDH’s decision to build on Caspio resulted not only in better data management for the department, but also cost savings for the state.
“Another way Caspio saved taxpayers’ money can be measured by employee time. For example, work done by eight employees is now performed by just two, thanks to our contract tracking application.”Alfredo Ramirez
Director of Operations Analysis, Tennessee Department of Health
In the end, the agency achieved their goal to centralize data and eliminate information silos within the department. They also gained visibility into asset, budget and expenditure information at the granular level they require. They accomplished all of this without having to take critical IT resources off major healthcare programs that directly benefit the people of Tennessee.
You too can create custom apps without having to write code. Caspio works with many government agencies to meet and exceed government compliance requirements.
Want to streamline operations while ensuring cost efficiency?
Schedule a demo today to learn more on using Caspio for the public sector.