Transforming Corrections: How Idaho Department of Corrections Leverages Laserfiche for Efficiency and Security

3 min read
  • Government
  • Information Technology
  • Document & Records Management

The Idaho Department of Correction (IDOC) is responsible for supervising individuals sentenced to their jurisdiction. This includes providing programs and support during incarceration and ensuring a smooth transition back into the community upon release. To streamline operations, enhance security and improve efficiency, IDOC implemented Laserfiche as its document management system (DMS).

We sat down with project manager for IDOC, Cassandra Lint, to take a deep dive into how Laserfiche helped IDOC meet the challenges it faces both as a corrections department and more generally as a government agency, by transforming how it manages information.

Streamlined processes and increased efficiency

“One of the major benefits that we see with Laserfiche is the flexibility of the automation and being able to work between the different business needs of our work groups,” Lint explained.

Since being implemented, Laserfiche has replaced paper-based forms and workflows with electronic processes, leading to significant improvements in efficiency. IDOC can now manage various forms, including project requests for Laserfiche access, through a centralized system. This eliminates the need for manual routing and filing, reducing processing times and the risk of documents getting lost.

Enhanced collaboration and data sharing

A critical aspect of IDOC’s operations is collaboration between internal staff and external providers. Laserfiche integrates seamlessly with IDOC’s internal client management system through an API. “We use the API to communicate between forms that are [associated with] outside providers that don’t have access to our internal network,” explains Lint. “So they can submit data that then gets reviewed by our providers internally in our department that then get[s] input into our client management system.”

This integration eliminates the need for external providers to send data via email or fax, ensuring timely and secure information exchange. Additionally, standardized data entry through Laserfiche forms guarantees consistency and reduces the burden of manual data entry for IDOC staff.

Improved security and accessibility of records

Security and accessibility are paramount for any organization managing sensitive information. Laserfiche addresses these concerns by providing a secure repository for IDOC’s critical documents, including human resource files, investigation files, policies and SOPs.

Laserfiche ensures the security of these records through robust access controls and audit trails. Additionally, the system’s OCR capabilities allow for easy document retrieval based on keywords or phrases within the document content. This eliminates the time-consuming process of searching through physical files and reduces the risk of misplacing documents.

Embracing digital transformation: the case of medical records

IDOC is undergoing a significant digital transformation by transitioning from paper-based medical records to an electronic format. “We have a current project right now, where the last of our medical records are being digitized and imported into our Laserfiche repositories,” says Lint.

This initiative offers numerous advantages. Physical storage costs associated with paper records are eliminated. The risk of documents getting lost during transportation between facilities is mitigated. Importantly, OCR empowers staff to locate specific medical records efficiently, ensuring timely access to critical patient information.

Planning for the future: records management and integration

Looking ahead, IDOC plans to leverage Laserfiche’s records management features to ensure proper record retention and disposal in accordance with regulations. “One of our upcoming projects that we’ll be working on is implementing records management with our document repository systems,” Lint explains. This will streamline recordkeeping practices and ensure compliance with legal requirements.

Furthermore, IDOC is exploring the possibility of integrating their Laserfiche environment with other jurisdictions. This collaboration could significantly enhance efficiency by eliminating duplicate data entry and streamlining information exchange across different agencies. Additionally, IDOC plans to replace an in-house web application with a Laserfiche integrated process, further optimizing workflows and reducing reliance on custom-built solutions.

The power of user-friendliness

In today’s world, user-friendliness is paramount for any technology to gain widespread adoption. Laserfiche stands out in this regard, as Lint emphasizes: “One of the cool things about Laserfiche is the flexibility that the different applications have and the ease of use for end users who maybe aren’t technically inclined.”

The system’s intuitive interface and drag-and-drop functionality allow staff with varying technical skillsets to navigate Laserfiche effectively. This eliminates the need for extensive training and ensures that staff can focus on their core competencies.

Conclusion: a model for efficiency and security in corrections

The Idaho Department of Correction’s implementation of Laserfiche serves as a model for other correctional institutions striving to streamline operations, enhance security and improve efficiency. By leveraging Laserfiche’s automation capabilities, secure document repository and seamless integrations, IDOC has demonstrably improved its ability to manage information and serve the community.

Cassandra Lint’s experience as a Laserfiche Champion further exemplifies the value of collaboration between government agencies and technology providers. Open communication channels ensure that technology solutions continue to evolve and meet the ever-changing needs of the public sector.

As IDOC continues to explore the full potential of Laserfiche, other correctional institutions can learn from their success story. By embracing digital transformation and implementing user-friendly document management systems, correctional facilities can position themselves to deliver exceptional service while optimizing internal processes and ensuring the security of sensitive data.

Further reading

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