New Business Framework Improves Service to Clients

The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities has streamlined its operational processes and implemented an enterprisewide core business framework. Called the “Imagine Initiative,” the new cross-county system integrates data using Microsoft Dynamics CRM, enabling staff and providers within Ohio DODD to provide better services to end users and get quicker access to resources.

“The system empowers developmental disabilities individuals and their families with information about their service plans and outcomes to make informed decisions,” Venu Edupuganti, senior IT manager and chief architect for DODD, wrote in an email to Baseline.

As the first phase of the initiative, the new core business framework has been rolled out in 18 counties in southeast Ohio, known as Region 5. The second phase will offer expanded deployment and additional systems upgrades, such as integrating more back-end and billing systems.

Adoption of the system has not been mandated across the state’s 88 counties, but the County Boards of Developmental Disabilities has been informed of its availability and use. Where it is in use, the framework is already proving useful for caseworkers and other staff members who work with DODD individuals.

“To start with, the case management feature of the system provides Service and Support Administrator supervisors and SSA dashboarding capabilities with alerts and notifications to manage the individuals in their caseload effectively and efficiently,” Edupuganti reported.

Scribe Software, a provider of data integration and data migration solutions, has a primary function of managing queue-based integration and pulling data from multiple systems, such as billing, demographics and provider registration. This capability has armed Ohio DODD with a quicker process for setting up new clients and moving around existing ones.

Scribe had been recommended by McGladrey LLP, a provider of assurance, consulting and tax services. The company worked closely with the state as its developers moved forward with data integration for the initiative.

Previously, various intake and management systems had been used across Ohio, but they offered “no coordination, no communication and no collaboration between teams of individuals,” Edupuganti stated. He added that county DD boards had “similar kinds of needs and different kinds of processes, but they were not coordinated and not talking to each other.”

“There was a lot of work to be done integrating our data,” Randy Brubaker, lead developer with DODD, told Baseline. “We leveraged Scribe Software in that area. … It’s been a big project.”

The initiative moved DODD away from a fragmented, paper-based and outdated system of care toward a streamlined, coordinated system that integrates financial and human resources data. It utilizes best practices in business processes across the counties, which is significant as Ohio DODD serves approximately 100,000 users, patients and guardians.

Edupuganti explained that the system has reduced the service identification and delivery cycle time by 25 percent, partly because a person-centered approach is now in use by county board staff.

“[The system] is fulfilling one of the core principles of person-centered planning by providing the necessary collaboration with individuals’ teams, such as the county board case worker, guardian, providers and family members,” he added.