Pennsylvania automates IT processes and modernizes human services systems
Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services (DHS) has completed a technology modernization project to optimize the performance of its legacy Electronic Client Information System (eCIS). The eCIS suite supports case processing, determines eligibility, authorizes services and distributes benefits to more than 2.7 million needy Pennsylvanians through the agency’s seven primary offices. Each year, DHS uses eCIS to provide over $850 million of services through several social programs, including child development, mental health and medical assistance programs.
As part of the eCIS transformation project, DHS is using the Progress Corticon Business Rules Management System (BRMS) to automate the rules and logic behind the eligibility determination process within its integrated eligibility system.
Prior to using Progress Corticon, the department depended on IT to make any rules modifications – a process that was cumbersome and often took weeks or months to complete. The department’s ability to keep up with ever-changing policies was limited by inflexible hard-coded rules that took developers weeks to months to create or modify. Additionally, more complex policy, which was too difficult to automate, was handled manually by caseworkers.
“We don’t often have much lead time to react to these changes,” says Shirley Monroe, Pennsylvania’s Chief Technology Officer of Human Services, Insurance and Aging. “For example, our fiscal year ends in June and the state has yet to pass a budget. We probably won’t see that for another three to four weeks, but we will be expected to respond to any required changes immediately.”
Using the new setup, the department has modernized existing systems, moving the hard-coded rules into the Corticon BRMS. Additionally, they have used it to automate previously manual processes. Specifically, the new system processes 2.6 million records in 43 minutes for a sustained throughput of over 1,000 decision sets per second. The project was completed in 2009.
“Today, both business users and developers can quickly and easily manage rules using Progress Corticon,” Monroe says. “Rules Management has become a more iterative and agile process; what once took us weeks now takes days, if not hours.”
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