Data and Labeling Requirements

RCAP required a replacement for a legacy application specifically designed to originate and manage physical files and records for Public Housing Assistance and Rental Assistance for Private Housing. RCAP participates in multiple State and Federal Programs with differing objectives and differing requirements to qualify. The various programs are a series of sub-programs to direct funding and assistance to granular segments of those needing housing assistance.

In the physical filing system, this translates to a menu-driven color coding that allows the management of many files in end tab folders on moveable shelving. As each client and each file must present as qualifying for one or more of the programs, a data entry method that creates only valid files was required; we accommodated this requirement by creating conditional drop-down menus for programs, then altering the sub-programs (where applicable) to present only compliant choices.

In addition to complex file typing, the label and the database also needed to capture the names of applicants. We use these names to create the primary color coding in the filing system by last name within each file type. Additional information captured as text was

  • Date of move-in
  • Date of Birth
  • Housing/Apartment Complex or Project

RCAP requires two record types

  • Client Services
  • Rental Assistance

RCAP served some of these clients under both types of service, and some were under only one. They required the ability to cross-reference clients based on singular or joint service types.

Records Management and Tracking Requirements

We consolidated the records within the RCAP facility into a single filing system. We converted their existing records to end tab file labels, where existing records were relabeled and re-shelved, a process known as a file system conversion.

As part of the process, we assigned records a home location of Fileroom. RCAP staff requiring access to client files are provided access to the filing system via the RMS and a named user. Named users are provided access to the client files via the Simplicity RMS.

We created a three-tiered method as the system required multiple options for incoming and outgoing files.

  • Fileroom walk-ins could have files checked out to them or could walk in and have files checked back in.
  • Users on the RMS can look up files and request the file via the RMS, and we deliver files to the user requesting the file.
  • Users can transfer files between them.

As the system accommodates remote requests, we created a queue with notifications. For incoming requests, we deliver notifications through the RMS user interface to assigned users within a defined File Room user group and to the email addresses of the users within that group. File checkout requires:

  • Reason code
  • A return date
  • A user or named location

These functions are nested within the File Room user group. As users make requests, we build a live list of file requests. If a user requests a file already checked out, a notification is sent back to that user indicating that the file is OUT to a specific person.

Notifications also go out to users and the File Room Group when files are past the return date. Upon return, we search the list of requests, and any existing request for that file will automatically report to prevent the record from being refiled and duplicating effort. We track all files in the Checked Out queue, which is searchable and from which users may issue reports.

The complex and active nature of the RCAP requirements allowed us to configure the RMS for immediate visibility into the location of each record and sped up file distribution and return. In addition, the rules-based workflow allowed each member of the RCAP staff more immediate access to mission-critical record data, which sped service delivery to clientele.

In addition to the workflow support in managing and tracking status and destruction, the RMS provides

  • Records Check in / Check Out to Assigned Locations for tracking purposes
  • Reporting on Record and User Histories for Chain of Custody and compliance
  • Tracking of all Checked Out Records in a single, searchable and reportable location
  • Document attachment and scanning
  • Print Queuing of Records Data for split entry/label print
  • Multi Level User System for task assignment

The RMS at RCAP is currently deployed as the primary HR Files tracking and management system.

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