Park County, Montana, is a rural area in the United States with a population just shy of 16,000. Despite its rustic charm, Park County struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic just like the rest of the world.
When the pandemic hit, Park County’s Health Department was short-staffed and still using pen and paper to collect data. This workflow wasn’t efficient enough to handle the new constraints COVID-19 put on the department. They needed a simple, powerful solution to implement right away.
Soon after, JotForm entered the picture, changing Park County’s information collection methods for good.
Greg Coleman, director of the Park County Office of Emergency Management, discovered JotForm through an internet search. He needed something that was quick and easy to set up, and he liked JotForm’s combination of features and capabilities, such as HIPAA compliance, the JotForm PDF Editor, JotForm Tables, conditional logic, and affordable pricing.
“It took us about a week to transition from paper to electronic forms. We have a small health department and a handful of volunteers, and using electronic forms has allowed us to accomplish a much higher workload with our limited resources,” says Coleman.
The switch to JotForm has virtually automated Park County’s information collection, management, and organization, which has saved precious time and resources. It’s also made it incredibly easy for field and office workers to collaborate.
COVID-19 contact tracing
Before JotForm, contact tracing was complicated and tedious for Park County. The process went a little something like this: Information was written down by hand, put into an email, and sent to the Health Department.
Once the Health Department received this information, it compiled a spreadsheet of the data to create letters for quarantine and isolation, then sent them out. The process was inefficient and took too long.
But with the help of JotForm, the new process is automated and seamless. Contact tracers enter information directly into the form, which automatically determines whether a quarantine or isolation letter is needed, personalizes the letter and sends it to the intended recipient. The information is simultaneously sent to the Health Department and into JotForm Tables, providing the Health Department with current data and situational awareness to better understand and manage the virus’s spread.
“The difference between our old and new process is night and day. It’s amazing,” Coleman says.
COVID-19 testing sites
Another significant way Park County uses JotForm is to collect consent at its COVID testing sites.
With JotForm, Park County’s workflow for COVID testing includes having one staff member fill out the electronic consent form to capture the person’s contact information. Next, the person takes a rapid test, and it’s sent inside to develop.
After 15 minutes, the testing staff searches the JotForm Table for the person’s name, and all of the information the staff member entered earlier comes up right away.
The Park County team also added several columns to the table to note whether the test was negative or positive and whether the person had been notified of their result. Better yet, since results are easily accessible to the public health nurse, positive cases are notified in near real time, helping to slow the spread of the virus.
According to Molly O’Neil, Park County’s health promotion and outreach specialist, “The electronic consent forms are much easier than paper forms because we test in an outdoor setting that can be extremely windy. Another capability that I find extremely useful is the search function. This makes it possible to enter test results directly in a patient form quickly.”
COVID-19 vaccine surveying
Now, with new vaccines on the horizon, The Park County Health Department has unique challenges related to surveying residents to see if they’re interested in the vaccine, and then setting up a list to schedule people who are eligible to get it.
The Health Department continues to rely on JotForm to collect this information and roll out the vaccine to community members as soon as they can.
“The JotForm platform, with Greg’s expertise, has helped our small county health department work smarter, not harder! It is a real benefit to the community, has certainly helped us bring COVID-19 cases under control much more quickly, and uses the time and energy of our staff most efficiently,” says Park County’s health officer, Dr. Laurel Desnick.
Park County has overhauled its information collection with JotForm, which has saved time and resources so Health Department staff have more time and energy to combat COVID-19 in the community.
Huge thanks to Park County for sharing this story with us! If you’re a business, local government, or nonprofit that would like to collaborate on a case study, please fill out our case study request form.