Clark-County-Logo---Study-Case

Washington’s Clark County Builds Adaptable,
Life-Saving Pandemic Response Database

Instead of spending their time troubleshooting database problems,
health professionals focused their time and energy on responding to a pandemic.

BACKGROUND

Clark County prepared well for the implementation. They presented Kohezion with a data structure, a detailed data dictionary defining their terms, and a schematic of the tables of information needed.

“The key value we brought to the implementation,” said Tremblay, “was our knowledge of data architecture. We made some recommendations based on best practices. Well-designed architecture is more flexible over time and improves reporting.”

Since pandemics don’t have downtime, scheduling data migration was a little challenging. Clark County developed a workaround for new data collected during the migration, which took place in less than twelve hours on a weekend.

" ... It was right as COVID was starting to explode. So we needed a new system and we needed it fast."
- Monica Czapla, MPH. Program Manager – Infectious Diseases | Clark County Public Health

THE CHALLENGE

The pandemic changed everything.

Investigation data, contacts, and workflows grew exponentially. The staff, which kept doubling, worked from home and the field. “I started to spend a lot of my time troubleshooting data management issues”, said Alyssa Carlson, staff epidemiologist.

“Not only was it frustrating, but I was allocating my time to band-aids, if you will, for the different data management issues that we were running into instead of actually working as a subject-matter expert.”

" ... Having a vendor that really understood data and what it means to have good quality data — that was really important to us."
- Alyssa Carlson | Epidemiologist

THE CRITERIA

As manager of the Infectious Disease Program, Monica Czapla saw that her team needed a highly configurable web-based platform that would “essentially recreate the system we already had field by field, but also allow us to have the reporting functionality to create the workflows we needed.”

Other key selection criteria included HIPAA compliance, speedy implementation, an intuitive system that empowered staff to tweak the database on their own, and cost-effectiveness.

SOLUTION

Carlson and a colleague test-drove the free trial offered by Kohezion, a low-code online database platform. They found Kohezion’s intuitive interface a big advantage, given the dozens of laypeople who would use the database.

Carlson was also impressed by her in-depth discussions with Kohezion’s Director of Customer Solutions, Thierry Tremblay. “Having a vendor that really understood data and what it means to have good quality data — that was really important to us.”

Between the two top providers being considered, the tipping point for Clark County became “Kohezion’s capacity to complete the initial build on our behalf …” said Carlson, “whereas the other candidate offered only a client-completed system build.”

" ... Having a vendor that really understood data and what it means to have good quality data — that was really important to us."
- Alyssa Carlson | Epidemiologist

IMPLEMENTATION

Clark County prepared well for the implementation. They presented Kohezion with a data structure, a detailed data dictionary defining their terms, and a schematic of the tables of information needed.

“The key value we brought to the implementation,” said Tremblay, “was our knowledge of data architecture. We made some recommendations based on best practices. Well-designed architecture is more flexible over time and improves reporting.”

Since pandemics don’t have downtime, scheduling data migration was a little
challenging. Clark County developed a workaround for new data collected
during the migration, which took place in less than twelve hours on a weekend.

RESULTS

“Kohezion greatly improved our ability to not only manage our own data,” Czapla said, “but to really manage how that data goes into the system and how we use it to inform the process. It definitely increases the efficiency of the investigation process because you're able to almost instantaneously see where you are.”

To illustrate, Czapla cited the compilation of a status report. Before Kohezion, totaling up the number of COVID cases not assigned to an investigator, those still open, and the ones closed would have taken a day. Today, she can update these numbers with one mouse click.

Although currently focused on COVID-19, Czapla said, “We're going to use this system for all infectious disease investigation processes.”

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At Kohezion, we aim to deliver high-security database solutions in a fraction of the time, for a fraction of the cost.

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