The Division of Public Assistance researched Virtual Contact Centers (VCCs) and further explored a product currently being used by the State of Alaska in the Department of Labor, the Department of Administration, and Department of Revenue. Since this product has already been tested and utilized extensively by these agencies, it appeared this product would be a good fit for our division and because it met our business needs criteria. Additionally, we spoke with a few DPA staff who are knowledgeable about this specific VCC product and heard rave reviews about it. The staff spoken to within the agencies listed above, also spoke highly of this product.
Recently, several DPA staff in a few locations finished testing the technical functionality of this system. In addition, one DPA staff volunteered to provide the “voice” behind the instructions to customers when they call the VCC. The recording has been completed and is ready to use. The intention is for the VCC to mirror (as much as possible) the triage tracks in PathOs, so many thanks to the staff for providing comments on these tracks and ensuring they meet our needs (even as we continue to tweak them).
Although this product is being used by multiple State of Alaska departments, the Department of Health and Social Services has an added layer of compliance to adhere with since the Department is informed about medical issues by the customers we serve. The Department IT staff are working with the Virtual Contact Center subcontractor on security concerns around the strict application of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Acts (HIPAA). We are currently looking into several options we have available to us and will know more within the next week or two. We do anticipate some delay with implementation so we are targeting October at this point. However, we are continuing to work on other tasks for the project so these tasks will be ready when the HIPAA issue is resolved.
The positive take away is that Department IT staff and our Commissioners Office are fully aware that a telephony solution is critical to our service delivery. Not only is the telephony solution a priority, but implementation of the Electronic Document Management System (during phase II) also remains a priority for our Division. Department IT staff are working tirelessly for DPA as we move forward with efficiencies for delivering services.
More to come on this as soon as we identify solutions and move forward with the VCC.
Tammie and Aimee