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October 28, 2010

Using Mobility and Correspondence Tools to Improve Case Worker Efficiency

Earlier this week at the Adobe MAX conference, the new Adobe LiveCycle Suite ES2.5 was announced. There are a number of new aspects to the release but I want to focus on a two pieces that government agencies might find particularly useful–mobility and correspondence. This new release makes it much easier for government agencies to manage citizen correspondence and to empower mobile staff such as case workers or inspectors.

It can be a real challenge for government agencies to effectively manage correspondence with citizens. As an example, agencies that deliver social and welfare services (family services, Medicare, unemployment insurance, etc.) also create and deliver massive amounts of personalized correspondence to their constituents. There can be thousands of notices, requests for missing information, benefit award letters, and other correspondence with citizens. The challenge is this correspondence must be personalized for each citizen by a case worker. This is a process that today is often ad hoc, labor intensive, and error-prone. It also unfortunately translates to higher agency costs and often compliance / consistency issues.

The Correspondence Management Solution Accelerator in the ES2.5 release is designed to help deal with this challenge. The solution accelerator streamlines the creation and management of centralized correspondence templates. Front-line staff can easily find and use these templates to create and assemble individualized notices and other correspondence. They can do this by leveraging pre-approved content blocks or entering custom text for each constituent with an easy to use interface (see screen shot below). The solution accelerator streamlines correspondence management from creation to archival for both paper and digital delivery. It empowers a case worker to quickly construct and send correspondence to a citizen that is consistent, personalized, and compliant.

The solution accelerator lets case workers use pre-written text from the template or insert custom text on the left while a preview of the letter is shown on the right

The solution accelerator lets case workers use pre-written text from the template or insert custom text on the left while a preview of the letter is shown on the right

The second area of Adobe LiveCycle ES2.5 that I wanted to highlight involves empowering front-line staff that are in the field. Take for example case workers that must visit citizens in their homes. Today many of these case workers might have to lug around many paper case history files. In addition, during the visit the case worker is often capturing case information on paper forms. This means that the case worker must then go back to the office and manually enter all case details onto their computer. This is slow, error prone, and repetitive.

The dramatic increase of powerful mobile devices opens up new opportunities to deal with this problem. A part of the new release announced this week is Adobe LiveCycle ES2.5 Mobile. This new multi-device mobile app can make it easier for case workers to manage their cases from the field. Adobe LiveCycle ES2.5 Mobile provides an easy way for case workers to initiate automated processes, access enterprise content, and capture data while they are in the field visiting a customer. Using this application (which runs on across different mobile device platforms) a case worker can access documents from the agency’s internal content repository from the field. Then they could fill-out and submit an electronic form (see screen shot below) using their mobile device. By securely bringing tasks, forms, and content from inside the agency right into the hands of case workers in the field using mobile devices, agencies can improve service quality and efficiency.

Fill-in forms on a mobile device using LiveCycle ES2.5 Mobile

Fill-in forms on a mobile device using LiveCycle ES2.5 Mobile

Both of the new offerings, LiveCycle ES2.5 Correspondence Management Solution Accelerator and LiveCycle ES2.5 Mobile are part of the LiveCycle ES2.5 release. There are certainly a number of other items in this suite we might cover in the future. But hopefully this post offers a vision of how the new correspondence management and mobile options can enable governments to empower their staff to be more citizen-centric and more efficient.