Natural Disaster Recovery

 

The Louisiana State Department of Health and Hospitals protects and promotes the health of the people of Louisiana by ensuring access to medical, preventive, and rehabilitative services. The department is tasked with disaster preparedness and must be able to catalog and track gravesites in the event that a major catastrophe, such as a flood, should shift them.

 

Business Situation

Natural disasters such as hurricanes or floods can take a toll on gravesites, in some cases moving caskets miles away from their original resting places. Finding, identifying, and reburying the loved ones contained within can be a daunting task—one with which Henry Yennie, Program Manager for Emergency Preparedness at the Louisiana State Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH), is familiar.

 

To alleviate these pains, the team recently transitioned from a legacy application and paper-based processes to a modern solution that stores data in a central repository and automates many tasks associated with identifying and restoring remains to their final resting places.

 

Solution

The team transitioned from their legacy application and paper-based processes to a modern solution that stores data in a central repository and automates many tasks associated with identifying and restoring remains to their final resting places. The solution uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM to manage records and internal processes.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM connects to a public-facing Microsoft SharePoint­ web portal, which allows families and concerned members of the public to submit and monitor the progress of their requests. The solution speeds completion of the team’s on-going post-Katrina mission, and will find them well prepared in the case of a future catastrophic event.

 
The Results
  • Modernize, replacing legacy system and paper-based processes

  • Increase speed and quality of service

  • Improve emergency preparedness

 
What They Said

“Because it is a platform, Microsoft Dynamics CRM enabled us to avoid custom development. It was the only solution out there that we could extend to meet a need as specific as tracking gravesites.”

Henry Yennie

Program Manager for Emergency Preparedness

Louisiana State Department of Health and Hospitals

 

Making a Difference

Although Yennie’s job might seem morbid, it’s also one that’s critically appreciated—and one where having the right technology in place can make all the difference for the affected families. “There’s nothing worse than misidentifying someone, as it can cause tremendous pain for the family,” he says. The solution offers benefits both to DHH and to the concerned families they serve. including:

 

  • Transparency and self-service. The public-facing portal enables self-service resolution of many requests for information, significantly reducing the demands on DHH staff. “With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, we can, for the first time ever, provide a web portal where concerned constituents can contact us, and we can then get back to them quickly using the information we have in the system, such as photographs or GPS coordinates.”

  • Fast time to benefit. Yennie points out that this level of readiness was established quickly. He says, “We were able to deploy and customize Microsoft Dynamics CRM to meet our needs in only one week.”

  • Enhanced emergency preparedness. Looking to the future, Yennie and his team will use the data stored in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution to feed an analytics system, enabling DHH to forecast how gravesites might shift in the event of projected disasters.

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