VCHD Master Employee Information system

State: FL Type: Model Practice Year: 2011

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Volusia County Health Department’s Master Employee Information (MEI) system began taking shape early in 2005 when the State-wide People First system reset our office phone numbers to a default number and then was unable to correct the mistake. Because we relied on the People First system for our employee contact information, it was decided to create a local system to hold contact information to avoid any future recurrence of this problem. The MEI was developed by one programmer as an ASP web application using existing equipment and DOH standard application development tools. In subsequent years, the system was rewritten as a Microsoft Dot Net application and enhanced in many ways such that it now provides standardized data to many locally developed applications. It has also been expanded to automate previously manual processes such as those needed when a new employee is hired, when an employee transfers to another position or when an employee departs from VCHD.

The initial implementation of the MEI consisted of one web page displaying the name and work phone numbers for all VCHD staff, a second page displaying detailed contact and demographic information for a single employee, one page which allows staff to update their own contact information and a Human Resources module to allow HR staff to manage employee records. The core of MEI was implemented in June of 2005. In addition to the features allowing staff to find contact information for other staff, an Employee Contact List allows supervisors and senior leaders to generate a report containing the work and home contact information of staff reporting to them or to supervisors under them. This report can be viewed online, printed or saved as an Excel spreadsheet for portability fulfilling our need for disaster preparedness contact information. The MEI was initially intended for use by VCHD staff as a means to retrieve contact information for other VCHD staff, but because it is available on the VCHD Intranet the information is available to other DOH staff as well.

One other County Health Department is also currently using the application for their staff using a separate database hosted by VCHD. The MEI is used on a daily basis by most of the approximately 300 VCHD staff as well as by staff at other CHD’s wishing to contact VCHD staff. Florida’s County Health Departments operate shelters for displaced citizens with special medical needs during times of emergency as well as serving the emergency medical needs of the county during any disaster. As such, it is vital that supervisors be able to contact their staff during times of need.

The information managed by the MEI fulfills that need and allows supervisors to periodically refresh their portable emergency contacts list with current information on their subordinates. The primary goal of the MEI system is to provide accurate and complete contact information on all staff and to make that information available to appropriate staff and supervisors when needed. To accomplish this goal, the system contains all necessary contact information for each VCHD employee including office location and phone numbers, email addresses, mobile phone numbers, home address and phone numbers, supervisor information and emergency contact information for employee family or friends in case an employee is involved in an incident. The system includes security measures to ensure that sensitive information can only be accessed by appropriate staff while making the public portions of the information easily available to all DOH staff. The system minimizes the burden on Human Resources staff by allowing each employee to maintain their own information as changes are needed. Supervisors and senior leaders use the MEI regularly to refresh their emergency contacts lists and VCHD staff use it on a daily basis to quickly access employee contact information. Twice per year a mandatory verification process directs each employee to the update page for their information to

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Volusia County Department of Health
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VCHD Master Employee Information system
Volusia County Health Department’s Master Employee Information (MEI) system began taking shape early in 2005 when the State-wide People First system reset our office phone numbers to a default number and then was unable to correct the mistake. Because we relied on the People First system for our employee contact information, it was decided to create a local system to hold contact information to avoid any future recurrence of this problem. The MEI was developed by one programmer as an ASP web application using existing equipment and DOH standard application development tools. In subsequent years, the system was rewritten as a Microsoft Dot Net application and enhanced in many ways such that it now provides standardized data to many locally developed applications. It has also been expanded to automate previously manual processes such as those needed when a new employee is hired, when an employee transfers to another position or when an employee departs from VCHD. The initial implementation of the MEI consisted of one web page displaying the name and work phone numbers for all VCHD staff, a second page displaying detailed contact and demographic information for a single employee, one page which allows staff to update their own contact information and a Human Resources module to allow HR staff to manage employee records. The core of MEI was implemented in June of 2005. In addition to the features allowing staff to find contact information for other staff, an Employee Contact List allows supervisors and senior leaders to generate a report containing the work and home contact information of staff reporting to them or to supervisors under them. This report can be viewed online, printed or saved as an Excel spreadsheet for portability fulfilling our need for disaster preparedness contact information. The MEI was initially intended for use by VCHD staff as a means to retrieve contact information for other VCHD staff, but because it is available on the VCHD Intranet the information is available to other DOH staff as well. One other County Health Department is also currently using the application for their staff using a separate database hosted by VCHD. The MEI is used on a daily basis by most of the approximately 300 VCHD staff as well as by staff at other CHD’s wishing to contact VCHD staff. Florida’s County Health Departments operate shelters for displaced citizens with special medical needs during times of emergency as well as serving the emergency medical needs of the county during any disaster. As such, it is vital that supervisors be able to contact their staff during times of need. The information managed by the MEI fulfills that need and allows supervisors to periodically refresh their portable emergency contacts list with current information on their subordinates. The primary goal of the MEI system is to provide accurate and complete contact information on all staff and to make that information available to appropriate staff and supervisors when needed. To accomplish this goal, the system contains all necessary contact information for each VCHD employee including office location and phone numbers, email addresses, mobile phone numbers, home address and phone numbers, supervisor information and emergency contact information for employee family or friends in case an employee is involved in an incident. The system includes security measures to ensure that sensitive information can only be accessed by appropriate staff while making the public portions of the information easily available to all DOH staff. The system minimizes the burden on Human Resources staff by allowing each employee to maintain their own information as changes are needed. Supervisors and senior leaders use the MEI regularly to refresh their emergency contacts lists and VCHD staff use it on a daily basis to quickly access employee contact information. Twice per year a mandatory verification process directs each employee to the update page for their information to
Florida’s County Health Departments operate shelters for displaced citizens with special medical needs during times of emergency as well as serving the emergency medical needs of the county during any emergency incident. As such, it is vital that supervisors be able to contact their staff during times of need.
Agency Community RolesThe MEI system was developed by the Volusia County Health Department programming staff and is maintained and enhanced by that staff for use by VCHD and by any other DOH staff who need contact information for VCHD staff or the staff of any other CHD that is sharing the system. It has been presented to regional DOH meetings and is available for use by other CHD’s interested in the functionality and features it provides. Costs and ExpendituresVolusia County Health Department’s Master Employee Information (MEI) system began taking shape early in 2005 when the State-wide People First system reset our office phone numbers to a default number and then was unable to correct the mistake. Because we relied on the People First system for our employee contact information, it was decided to create a local system to hold contact information to avoid any future recurrence of this problem. The MEI was developed by one programmer as an ASP web application using existing equipment and DOH standard application development tools. In subsequent years, the system was rewritten as a Microsoft Dot Net application and enhanced in many ways such that it now provides standardized data to many locally developed applications. It has also been expanded to automate previously manual processes such as those needed when a new employee is hired, when an employee transfers to another position or when an employee departs from VCHD. The initial implementation of the MEI consisted of one web page displaying the name and work phone numbers for all VCHD staff, a second page displaying detailed contact and demographic information for a single employee, one page which allows staff to update their own contact information and a Human Resources module to allow HR staff to manage employee records. The core of MEI was implemented in June of 2005. In addition to the features allowing staff to find contact information for other staff, an Employee Contact List allows supervisors and senior leaders to generate a report containing the work and home contact information of staff reporting to them or to supervisors under them. This report can be viewed online, printed or saved as an Excel spreadsheet for portability fulfilling our need for disaster preparedness contact information. The MEI was initially intended for use by VCHD staff as a means to retrieve contact information for other VCHD staff, but because it is available on the VCHD Intranet the information is available to other DOH staff as well. One other County Health Department is also currently using the application for their staff using a separate database hosted by VCHD. The MEI is used on a daily basis by most of the approximately 300 VCHD staff as well as by staff at other CHD’s wishing to contact VCHD staff. Florida’s County Health Departments operate shelters for displaced citizens with special medical needs during times of emergency as well as serving the emergency medical needs of the county during any disaster. As such, it is vital that supervisors be able to contact their staff during times of need. The information managed by the MEI fulfills that need and allows supervisors to periodically refresh their portable emergency contacts list with current information on their subordinates. The primary goal of the MEI system is to provide accurate and complete contact information on all staff and to make that information available to appropriate staff and supervisors when needed. To accomplish this goal, the system contains all necessary contact information for each VCHD employee including office location and phone numbers, email addresses, mobile phone numbers, home address and phone numbers, supervisor information and emergency contact information for employee family or friends in case an employee is involved in an incident. The system includes security measures to ensure that sensitive information can only be accessed by appropriate staff while making the public portions of the information easily available to all DOH staff. The system minimizes the burden on Human Resources staff by allowing each employee to maintain their own information as changes are needed. Supervisors and senior leaders use the MEI regularly to refresh their emergency contacts lists and VCHD staff use it on a daily basis to quickly access employee contact information. Twice per year a mandatory verification process directs each employee to the update page. ImplementationWhen the MEI system was initially being designed, it was based on an existing system that provided the three core features – employee contact summary information, per employee detail information and the ability for employees to update certain parts of their own information. The primary difference between this existing system and the MEI was to be the removal of reliance on the People First system for employee work information and the local storage and management of that information. As such, the underlying database was redesigned and expanded to contain the necessary information in a number of tables to ease programmatic access to that information and the Human Resources module was designed and implemented. As new modules were implemented, the database was expanded. The initial implementation of the MEI system required the majority of time of a single programmer for a period of approximately two months. This effort began early in 2005 and was finished by June of that year.
The primary objective of the MEI system is to provide accurate and complete contact information on all staff and to make that information available to appropriate staff and supervisors when needed. This objective is crucial to the disaster preparedness plans of the CHD. Twice per year, a process is triggered which forces each employee to their information update page when they log on to the VCHD Intranet site. On that page they must make any changes needed or indicate that the information is correct before being allowed to continue. Throughout the year, whenever an employee makes changes to certain parts of their information, an email notice is sent to HR staff notifying them of the changes made so that the changes can be verified. When transactions are processed through the In and Out Processing modules of the system, the associated MEI information is automatically added or modified as appropriate so that no manual data manipulation is required. As an additional assessment tool, a number of reports have been created for use by HR staff which compare information contained in the MEI system with that currently contained in the People First system so that appropriate actions can be taken when discrepancies occur. As a final assessment of the most critical MEI information, the contact information that is required during an emergency, periodically supervisors are asked to test their emergency contact lists by using them to contact all of their direct reports after hours and record and report any failures.
The MEI system has become a convenient and necessary part of the day to day operation of the Volusia County Health Department by housing required staff information and providing that information to a number of other local applications. As such, it is difficult to envision operating without it. All VCHD staff are committed to the system through the bi-annual information verification process as well as through the employee In and Out Processing modules, the Key and Computer Inventory displays, the Special Needs Shelter assignments and the Training Record displays. Though initially resistant to the system due to the additional workload imposed, the Human Resources staff have also accepted the system and now actively support it due to the ease with which information that they need can be retrieved. Enhancements to reduce the data entry required by HR staff and to spread the work load across all VCHD staff have also helped in gaining this acceptance and commitment. Twice per year, a process is triggered which forces each employee to their information update page when they log on to the VCHD Intranet site. On that page they must make any changes needed or indicate that the information is correct before being allowed to continue. Throughout the year, whenever an employee makes changes to certain parts of their information, an email notice is sent to HR staff notifying them of the changes made so that the changes can be verified. When transactions are processed through the In and Out Processing modules of the system, the associated MEI information is automatically added or modified as appropriate so that no manual data manipulation is required. As an additional assessment tool, a number of reports have been created for use by HR staff which compare information contained in the MEI system with that currently contained in the People First system so that appropriate actions can be taken when discrepancies occur. As a final assessment of the most critical MEI information, the contact information that is required during an emergency, periodically supervisors are asked to test their emergency contact lists by using them to contact all of their direct reports after hours and record and report any failures.
 
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