January Reflections on Social Services

It is a good time to think about and contextualize the past, present and future. The past is ACA as a monumental, historic event. The present is the reality of implementing a new paradigm for safety net programs – really.

The vision from the CWDA guidelines of “It is no longer IF you are eligible, it is WHAT you are eligible for” is transforming the culture in social services. Which leads to the future: The Year of the Customer. HHSA are making it easier to do business with them. Focusing on customers’ needs first while maintaining a work environment that is fair, yet productive and dare I even say - exciting. Specifically, more public agencies are adopting the wisdom and best practices of private sector businesses.

Customer service is quickly becoming the number one priority for county health and human services agencies. Many counties are redesigning lobbies, updating appointment management systems and reorganizing workflows in order to better respond to customer needs and requests. These new systems provide agency workers with more visibility and access to client records as well as their own workflow.

We were also pleased to play a role in the shift towards relying on data driven tools and practices. Like many businesses, county agencies are relying more on data to dictate operations. Again, adopting these data driven tools creates more internal efficiency so that agency workers can provide a higher quality experience to their clients. Furthermore, the data provides a new level of insight to team workloads so that all staff is used efficiently. The tools and practices of using data and technology also create an interesting career path for an agency employee.

Building customer-centric social services agencies not only enables clients to obtain benefits quickly and efficiently, but it also brings a new level of dignity to the client experience.

We look forward to watching these trends flourish in 2016. We have many exciting partnerships and projects in the works across California, and we will continue to champion the ideas of customer-centric service delivery and maintaining the dignity of the client experience.

If you haven’t already, I recommend checking out this article: 9 Habits that Lead to Terrible Decisions. They exist in both private and public leadership decision-making processes. InTelegy’s data driven decision making best practices and programs can help you avoid some (probably not all) of these pitfalls. Happy New Year!

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