Ventura County Human Services
Policy Management Helps Health Services Agency Lower Costs and Boost Services
Ventura County Human Services Agency provides assistance to over 100,000 Ventura County residents each month in a variety of public assistance programs including: food stamps, CalWORKs, Medi-Cal, adult and family services. Located just northwest of Los Angeles, Calif., Ventura County is home to more than 800,000 people.
Ventura County Human Services Agency must comply with a host of federal and state regulatory standards while meeting internal Lean Six Sigma goals to provide the best services to the most people possible.
“The greatest return on investment is in developing efficiencies in regards to business processes to issue timely benefits to our customers.”
– Myra Chavez Program Analyst, Ventura County Human Services Agency
Overcoming Shortcomings in the Policy Management System
Keeping more than 1,000 employees informed and educated on new policies and procedures is a major challenge. Myra Chavez, Ventura County Human Services Agency program analyst, is charged with keeping the agency current on the surfeit of regulations required of the agency.
“We have so many programs that have to be accountable to the state and federal organizations. We have to be in compliance or there’s just no way (to keep functioning),” said Chavez. Their system utilized binders filled with paper copies of policies, distributed by each department, and each department shared the information with employees differently.
“Information was shared in a way that all staff did not receive the same information,” said Chavez. “Individuals could not validate that the information they received was the most current.”
With 4,500+ documents and more than 1,000 employees, the paper distribution of policies alone was costing taxpayers more than $24,000 per year. Further, lack of consistent business practices and easy access to the documents cost the agency efficiency and productivity. By implementing NAVEX Global’s Policy & Procedure Manager, Human Services Agency was able to revitalize their policies and procedure management process by eliminating the recurring costs of reproducing manuals, reducing approval processes to weeks (or less) and increasing agency efficiency with standardized business practices.
Less paperwork. More peoplework.
Prior to implementing NAVEX Global policy management, the Human Services Agency came close to being fined for regulatory violations. When the agency began loading policy documents into the software system, they realized that almost 1,500 of their documents had not been revised in the previous nine years. With PolicyTech, each document has a preset automatic review interval that reminds a document owner when their policies need a refresh.
Best Practices—Lean Six Sigma
The Human Services Agency uses Lean Six Sigma principles to facilitate agency operations and improve customer service.
“We have so many programs that have to be accountable to the state and federal organizations. We have to be in compliance or there’s just no way to keep functioning,” said Chavez.
One of the key facets of Lean Six Sigma is the ability to quickly distribute best practice updates to employees so they can begin implementing these improvements in their work. The NAVEX Global solution uses e-mail to quickly distribute new policies across the agency.
The policy management software is easy to use because of its simple interface and familiar Microsoft Word™ module for writing documents. Chavez quickly learned the system despite starting with the Human Services Agency after the initial installation.
“It was a self-training that I found very easy,” said Chavez. “I read the manual, we had a training environment set up for us and I went in and created a test document.”
Chavez was then able to deliver hands-on training to the line staff, who took to the system quickly and easily.
“One of the main selling points of Policy Manager is that it is very user-friendly,” Chavez said.
Implementing Change, Improving Processes
PolicyTech provided a method for Agency employees to receive uniform understanding of the policies and procedures that governed their jobs, leading to higher efficiency and better customer service.
The software and associated workflow helped Ventura County Human Services Agency manage more than 4,000 documents. They no longer spend $24,000 per year on copy costs. Most critically, the approval process has been reduced from a potentially year-long process to less than three months on most documents, and as little as one week for some.
Chavez recommends it to other government organizations looking for similar benefits. “The greatest ROI (return on investment) is in developing efficiencies in regards to business processes to issue timely benefits to our customers,” said Chavez. “PolicyTech is something that is easy, fast and has a proven record.”
About NAVEX Global, Inc.
NAVEX Global’s comprehensive suite of ethics and compliance software, content and services helps organizations protect their people, reputation and bottom line. Trusted by 95 of the FORTUNE 100 and more than 12,500 clients, our solutions are informed by the largest ethics and compliance community in the world.