Updated Wed, Jan 16, 2013 5:33 pm
A new partnership is bringing an Athens County agency into the 21st century of data managment.
Athens County Children Services recently announced a new partnership with Northwoods, a software company specializing in data management for various state and county agencies.
The partnership allows the agency to scan and electronically save client case files instead of filing them on paper.
Cathy Hill, executive director of Athens County Children Services, said finding records manually is time consuming.
"If we need to find an old recordm, it can be rather cumbersome and time consuming to go back and try to find it as opposed to its being available in an electronic format," said Hill.
Before obtaining the new software, the agency had to search through thousands of files to locate a single case.
Hill said the search can now be done in a matter of seconds.
"On new cases, our workers are able to create the record electronically and actually never print it out and put it in a file folder somewhere," she said.
Tiffany Himmelreich, Northwoods Senior Digital Marketing Strategist, said the company's Compass Software makes documentation easier.
"Anyone in the human services industry is working directly with their client so that they can keep all of their documentation electronically available. That would be things like application forms or proof of residency of anything that the case workers need in order to process their cases," said Himmelreich.
Hill said the agency is still getting comfortable with the new technology but it seems to be going well for them.
This year, Athens County Children Services also provided 17 of their case workers with new iPads to use out in the field.
This upgrade will allow workers to access files from outside of the office.