As information technology advances, many organizations must process ever-increasing amounts of information in their daily operations. Incompatible data sources, security concerns, and confidentiality stipulations can quickly complicate this data processing and require expensive professional resources. Organizations can confront these problems through systems and data integration, which provides:
- Increased coordination and other collaborative efforts
- Reduced information management administrative costs
- Greater uniformity in data presentation and interpretation
- Enhanced outcomes based on informed decision-making
- Enhanced compliance with regulatory authorities
ACA can perform systems and data integration for your organization by consolidating some functions and joining their previously independent data sets to coordinate their administration.
Primary Needs in the Area of Systems and Data Integration
The bureaucratic autonomy of public programs often promotes an episodic, fragmented, short-term approach to care, especially when consumers move from one funding stream to another. Data is usually captured locally and maintained within the boundaries of a specific program. Each program has its own unique statutory data retention and reporting requirements and its own confidentiality guidelines. Consequently, these programs rarely share information across system boundaries, potentially incurring excessive administrative costs, not maximizing their resources, duplicating services, leaving opportunities for fraud, and creating barriers to holistic care management.
ACA’s technologies, including our Data Service Bureau,are unique tools that support integration and allow public systems to coordinate their resources without taking away agencies’ administrative freedom.
Innovative Solutions in Public Welfare through Systems and Data Integration
To overcome the administrative isolation of some public welfare agencies without jeopardizing their autonomy, ACA finds areas within these agencies that function similarly to other organizations. From the management perspective, these common areas are program, care, financial, and administrative management.
Some programs that should remain independent can still join with other organizations in the areas of program management and benefit packages. Care and case management, for example, are justifiably independent programs, but in order to coordinate care, they must exchange information and collaborate with other programs. Systems and data integration can produce certain benefits in these situations:
- Integrating and possibly centralizing administrative and financial management functions
- Coordinating provider contracting, provider network development, and provider performance monitoring
- Coordinating budgeting efforts
- Integrating data for coordinated case and care management
Experience with Systems and Data Integration
Whether we are addressing industry needs or our customers’ specific needs, ACA offers excellent consulting and information technology products and services:
- We assisted a county human services organization in bringing its mental health and mental retardation programs from administration under a multi-county joinder to administration in-house under a single county authority. We developed a number of alternative approaches to achieve the county’s goal and compared the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches, including necessary resources.
- When implementing MASTRR™ Solutions products for our human services customers, we have assisted them in developing an integrated definition of their organization and its benefit packages. This work often involves integrating administrative and fiscal functions.
- While complying with data confidentiality requirements, a county mental health, mental retardation, and substance abuse program used our MASTRR™ Solutions products to support their respective program, care, administrative, and financial management functions from a single integrated database.
- We conduct consolidated data analyses across program offices and funding streams for numerous governmental agencies and public and private organizations.