Division of Workers' Compensation Launches Sophisticated Claims Computer System
Colorado’s Division of Workers Compensation has taken a big step in shaking up its antiquated legacy computer system, the one that is used to track all workers compensation claims filings for injured workers.
The computer program is a critical resource used to oversee the claims handling process, monitoring the chronology of events and ensuring coverage and proper payments. The Division wanted to retain the best of the legacy system’s features while building important new features.
To do that, the Division contracted with InnoWake International, Inc., a San Francisco-based software company that specializes in modernizing legacy applications. The company created a new system that is simple and transparent. However, beneath the user-friendly interface is a complexity that is formidable. It is vastly superior to (and much cheaper than) the patchwork of fixes that plague most legacy systems.
What was built is a cloud-based application, capable of being accessed through the internet from any location with increased capacity and enhanced functionality. And, perhaps most importantly, the new system offers something called “future scalability,” that is, the ability of the computer network to grow as the business needs change. Not taking scalability into account can mean spending more money on an infrastructure that isn’t responsive to business needs down the road.
Already, its agility and flexibility are allowing staff to start thinking of ways to customize the system to better address current and future needs. Anticipated efficiencies include the creation of fly-out and drop-down menus as well as more sophisticated search functions that will enable staff to pull information from other screens at a glance.
Work on the new computer system began several years ago in the best tradition of Silicon Valley with Division staff rolling out the new product in stages, testing it, improving it and repeating the process for continuous improvement. By mid-2015, a few testers were entering data into the newly created database.
A “bridge” was constructed, allowing data to be shuttled back and forth between the legacy database and the new database. This cautious approach ensured system stability prior to disabling the bridge and launching the new system.
Then, a few weeks ago, with the Division’s Technical Operations Unit standing by, InnoWake shut down the bridge and the full conversion was launched. The entire database and all corresponding programs were migrated and converted successfully on that day.
When a tech team succeeds with a project like this, the general public likely won’t think much about it. “When a government program works efficiently and can grow with new software and design concepts, it might not be seen as big news,” says Department of Labor and Employment Executive Director Ellen Golombek, “but our staff has done a remarkable job. We’re proud of what’s been created and the ease with which it was rolled out. It makes for a more user-friendly government, a more responsive government, one that will continue to improve in the years ahead.”
For immediate release
Date: November 10, 2015
Contact: Office of Government, Policy and Public Relations
Bill Thoennes at (303) 318-8004 or Cher Haavind at (303) 318-8003
Fax: (303) 318-8070