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Crow Wing County Community Services implements new mobile technology

Crow Wing County Community Services has implemented a social service software solution to streamline processes for social service staff and assist them in effectively managing increased caseloads.

Crow Wing County Community Services has implemented a social service software solution to streamline processes for social service staff and assist them in effectively managing increased caseloads.

All children's services workers have been equipped with Northwood's' Compass CoPilot for iPad to access and update case and client information in the field as well as in the office. Documentation is captured on their iPads and scanned into the case file in real time.

Because the technology does not rely on a continuous Internet connection, staff are able to securely access and document cases in rural areas where connectivity can be an issue.

Faced with increased child maltreatment reports, higher out-of-home placement costs and a zero percent tax levy, the county chose the software solution so staff can focus less on paperwork and spend more time with families.

Sheila Skogen, division manager, said this tool will not eliminate paperwork but it will simplify it.

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"This technology will allow us to focus less on paperwork and more on what really matters: protecting children and adults," she said.

The iPad technology allows staff and supervisors to work together to make quick decisions about client safety because they can instantly share and review photos and audio recordings to make assessments quickly. With the new system, workers can easily share and access information.

Crow Wing County has utilized desktop productivity solutions since 2009 in the employment and economic services division and in child support since the spring of 2014. With Compass Pilot, case and client data that is collected at any point in the system is immediately available to all workers and processes that need it, thus automating routine tasks.

Jay Sikkink, information technology director, said his department continually seeks out new technology to assist each and every department in the county. "Through the use of technology, the county can increase client service levels and productivity while at the same time cut costs," he said.

"In the near future we will continue the progression to move other service units to utilize this technology," Skogen said. "Our goal is to ensure our agency utilizes a consistent, integrated electronic document management system with the long range goal to reduce costs, increase efficiencies and provide excellent service to all citizens in Crow Wing County."

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