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Barnet Council shows Wisdom installing new EDRM system and Kodak scanners to handle case files in key service areas

  • New EDRM system, part of Barnet Council’s solution for holding Electronic Social Care Records, is delivering high quality social services more efficiently and effectively as multi-user access is now provided to case files

  • 30 Kodak Scan Station 100 scanners installed with NSi AutoStore capture software resulting in customised workflows being created

London April 20, 2010 – Kodak (NYSE:EK) today announced that Barnet Council has installed 30 networked Kodak Scan Station 100 scanners, three Kodak i620 scanners and three Kodak i1220 Plus scanners, along with Morse plc’s Wisdom electronic document and records management system (EDRM). This will deliver online multi-user access to documentation in case files in five key service areas: Children Services, Adult Services, Housing, Environmental Health and Human Resources.

The new Wisdom EDRM solution enables 700 Barnet Council staff to quickly search across various enterprise systems for information related to a particular council resident. Access to information and collaboration will be improved, security and auditing enhanced, with overall organisational efficiency increased.  Ultimately, Barnet Council will be able to save money on storage and improve response times to the public, with the system over time made accessible to all 3,500 staff. 

Currently, the Adult Services team has 40,000 contacts on its systems – a mix of actual clients and carers – with the Children Services team holding details of 15,000. 

Andy Sopel, Barnet Council’s scanning specialist and trainer says, “The benefits of an enterprise-wide EDRM system is huge given we have thousands of case files to manage.  A library system where only one person can borrow and then view a file is removed with multi-staff access now allowed. Monitoring and control is improved, workflow and escalation policies added so that all correspondence and documents are dealt with in a timely fashion.  The new EDRM system provides a coherent way of managing this process end-to-end including when to dispose of documents.”

Distributor, Avnet, supplied the Kodak scanners to Barnet Council with the three i620 production scanners installed in the Council’s main buildings – North London Business Park, Barnet House and its Mill Hill Archive depot. The numerous networked Scan Station 100s, for lower volume scanning, are located on various floors in these buildings and other sites, with the Kodak i1220 Plus scanners attached to PCs at remote sites where there is no LAN and connected via ADSL links. 

To date, all the current users have been trained to use the new system, with phase 1 of the project involving the deployment of Wisdom for use by the Children Services, Adult Services, Housing Needs & Resources, HR and Environmental Health departments all “live”. Phase 2 – making it available to other departments where case files are kept – is expected to start later in 2010.  
The network-ready Scan Station 100s handle up to 25 pages per minute and are an all-in-one unit, with touch screen and scanner and no PC required.  Staff use them for day-to-day scanning such as post.  Sopel says, “Staff like the Scan Station 100s as we’ve programmed custom screens for each service area, making them analogous to their own part of the EDRM and therefore easy-to-use.  They simply walk up, scan a document and save it in one of a number of pre-set folders which have been created for them.”

This has been achieved as Notable Solutions Inc’s AutoStore capture software is preinstalled and configured to Barnet Council’s needs based on service area, type of document and client based on case number.  Sopel explains, “When you have hundreds of staff, you want to avoid everyone saving things in slightly different ways or inputting typographical errors otherwise retrieval becomes difficult.  AutoStore means we’ve been able to pre-programme the scanners using council terminology so that users are presented with lists which they then select from when they scan. This creates consistency in terms of how the metadata information is input and routed.”

The Kodak i1220 Plus scanners on remote sites also connect to NSI Autostore, along with 50 other multi function devices (MFDs). 

Running on two Microsoft SQL Servers, the Wisdom EDRM system sits alongside Barnet Council’s existing main case management systems: Anite SWIFT (its core social care data base), Liquid Logic’s Integrated Children’s System (ICS) - its specialist case inventory system used by the Children Services team - and SAP’s human resources suite.  In addition, Wisdom has also been integrated with iDocs ACCOLAID as a back end EDRM for Barnet Council’s Environmental Health department.

Sopel explains, “In such a large organisation, you’d typically have multiple network drives and systems but Wisdom consolidates everything into one file structure per service area to give an overview of all documents per case thereby allowing easy search and retrieval.”

In parallel, the council has established new records management and retention policies for the new Wisdom EDRM system. Sopel explains, “For example, we’re required to keep records by law for seven years.  A timer is applied to each folder saved in Wisdom which will automatically alert a Records Manager when this period is up.”

A range of other benefits have been realised, too.  Sopel says, “When post is received and scanned in at the Scan Station sites, an immediate alert is sent to an appropriate social worker that a new document has arrived for a particular client, based on the ICS or SWIFT number inputted. An icon pops up on their desktops.  We’ve added timers in as well so that a document is automatically re-routed to a more senior person if it is not looked at within a specified period. Wisdom is rich in functionality in this sense.”

In contrast to the Scan Station 100s, the Kodak i620 production scanners handle up to 80 pages per minute and are being used to meet Barnet Council’s bulk scanning needs.  For example, the Children Services team is using them to scan current client folders – some 15,000 children – so that all documents in “live” files are now electronic. “Historic” cases are only scanned when they need to be reviewed – a scan-on-demand approach in other words. 

The three i620s connect to Kofax’s Capture software so that Barnet Council can bulk feed documents straight into Wisdom, SWIFT and ICS without using an intermediate storage approach, thereby improving efficiency. 

Sopel concludes, “Technically, the Kodak scanners more than meet our needs and we haven’t even begun to use all the functionality included.  Given scanning is relatively new to the council, Kodak has been very responsive helping us and has gone well above and beyond its remit.”

Moving forward, the council is in the process of selecting a Customer Relationship Management system which will interoperate with the Wisdom EDRM.  This will make response times to queries from the public even faster given the systems will be so tightly integrated. 

David Whitton, Kodak document imaging’s Northern Cluster sales manager, says, ”Clearly Barnet Council has a huge document management overhead and implementing an EDRM system makes sound commercial and best practice sense.  Ongoing scanner management is easy given the council has products from one manufacturer and we are delighted to have been selected as the supplier of choice.”

- Ends -

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