Governor Pat Quinn today announced a new digital record system at the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) that will eliminate more than seven million documents per year is already reducing response times for client service from days to seconds. The announcement is part of Governor Quinn's commitment to reduce government waste and save taxpayer money.
"Our human services caseworkers can best serve their customers by spending time with them, not battling wasteful paperwork," Governor Quinn said. "This system will allow us to increase accountability while eliminating millions of pieces of paper from the process, helping our caseworkers focus on the needs of their clients."
DHS is using IBM software to digitize three forms critical to the benefit eligibility determination process: calculation sheets, the combined application form and the chronological record of case processing. Digitizing these forms will eliminate more than seven million pieces of paper annually. With the new system, these forms are electronically filed, which produces an immediate paper savings. It also eliminates the need to wade through more than 100 million pieces of paper stored in case files at local offices and warehouses throughout the state when case workers need to retrieve and update information.
"This solution is an excellent example of state government and private industry working together to develop strategies for maximizing our limited resources," DHS Secretary Michelle R.B. Saddler said. "Just as important, it helps us streamline our local offices and improve efficiency, which in turn enhances the workplace, employee morale and service to our customers."
The IBM system cost $325,000 but paid for itself in just three months with the savings that were realized from its use by more than 2,000 DHS caseworkers. Caseworkers input information into the system and the system automatically determines program eligibility and stores the electronic forms in a central repository for later retrieval. Caseworker time spent retrieving information has gone from days to just seconds, which has been a big boost to customer service.