Best Practices – Franklin County Board Digitizes Files

Digitization of records and the movement to an electronic database is a long-term commitment for the  Franklin County Board of DD to ‘go green.’ L to R: Librarians Elyse French, Colleen Deel, and Jonathan Zuhosky

Digitization of records and the movement to an electronic database is a long-term commitment for the Franklin County Board of DD to ‘go green.’
L to R: Librarians Elyse French, Colleen Deel, and Jonathan Zuhosky

In a far-reaching effort to boost efficiency and provide quicker document access, the Franklin County Board of DD Service Coordination (SC) Department has created a digital Records Library. The process began in late 2009, and by mid-2010, twelve temporary staff had processed and indexed all the SC files. The project involved indexing and scanning more than 350,000 documents, or approximately three million pages.

Four years after the initial project, the Records Library continues to thrive with the number of digitized documents nearing 655,000. The Records Library now is staffed by three records librarians, and the new goal is to digitize and index all records throughout the agency over the next few years.

The Franklin County Board serves more than 17,000 people with developmental disabilities. Of these individuals, about 8,000 receive support through the Service Coordination Department. Each person served has a case file containing — at a minimum — various evaluations, service plans, case notes, and budget documentation. Prior to 2010, all case records were paper files, maintained in a centralized location. With more than 200 employees in the SC Department, there was a considerable bottleneck when it came to accessing information from an individual’s file. According to FCBDD Superintendent Jed Morison,

 “The paper files filled 150 file cabinets, and used more than 3,000 square feet of office space.”

Looking ahead, another FCBDD initiative will concentrate on database integration of digital documentation to save more paper. The agency continues to look for other ways to consolidate paper flow, and to allow Service and Support Administrators and other library users to more easily access information and, ultimately, have more time to help people to live, learn, and work in the community.

Best Practices Note: The Delaware County Board of DD has completed a digital records process as well, and was featured in Pipeline Quarterly, Spring 2012, on page 10.

FCBDD story excerpted from the Ohio Libraries Quarterly. Read the full article online, see page 13.

 

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