The Department of Information Services works with departments across the county to implement technology solutions that help improve the delivery of citizen services, facilitate transparency in government, strengthen cybersecurity, and provide our workforce with tools that enhance collaboration and productivity. A selection of some of our technology projects currently underway or recently completed are highlighted below. For more information about completed and scheduled IT projects, see our business plan.
Current or Recently Completed Technology Projects:
Expanded Video Streaming for Board of County Commissioners Meetings
The county recently expanded video streaming for Board of Commissioners (BOC) meetings to include work sessions. The initiative included fitting the work session space with cameras and microphones and integrating them with the current video streaming platform. The BOC work sessions are now live streamed and published to WakeGOV just as the regular meetings are.
County leadership took swift action in early March 2020 to build a comprehensive plan to the COVID-19 pandemic. The following are just some examples of how Information Services contributed to the county's response:
- Rapidly deploying technology to support the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) including relocating the EOC to accommodate unprecedented staffing requirements
- Led the selection and implementation of a cloud-based scheduling system for EOC work shifts
- Established two EOC cloud-based call centers that received more than 12,000 calls (as of late May 2020)
- Developed a custom application that provides EOC staff with assessment management for COVID-19 cases in the county. Tracking more than 200 data points, the application went live within two weeks of conception and provided the EOC with better case management than third-party alternatives
- Ensured 2,500+ county employees were able to work remotely by deploying my-fi devices, mobility apps and laptops
- Quickly implemented telehealth services for Human Services health clinics, with nearly 3,000 telehealth visits conducted March - May 2020
- Developed a custom application that manages data and financial assistance for local families living in hotels who have experienced income loss due to COVID-19
- Built a robust COVID-19 public information website that features a near-time data dashboard, an interactive timeline and a host of citizen resources viewable in 11 languages
On-Demand Video Language Interpreters
In January 2020, Wake County debuted live speech and American Sign Language video interpretation services in all health clinics run by the Human Services Department. Simple video devices provide one-touch access to video or phone calls with trained professional interpreters in 240+ languages. The service allows clinic staff to provide non-English speaking citizens with services such as medical exams, nutrition counseling, and evaluation for county and federal services.
Prior to implementing on-demand translators, a patient needing translation services experienced appointment scheduling delays while a contracted translator was located and coordinated. Walk-in services for these patients were not an option. With the new technology, all clinic patients can receive scheduled or walk-in care with on-demand availability of a translator.
The devices are easy to use and allow staff to provide enhanced medical care to their patients. We are currently working to expand the technology to visiting home nurse and child welfare services.
Electronic Funding Requests
The county recently developed an electronic application process to facilitate community organization funding requests. The Budget and County Manager's offices needed a better way to solicit and review requests. Previously, applicants emailed their supporting information and documents, then staff spent considerable time vetting and compiling the information for the Board of Commissioners. Information Services developed an online application that provides groups with easy access to required document templates and ability to upload their completed forms and supporting documents.
Permits and Inspections Portal
A recently completed project enables citizens and businesses to request and track the progress of permits and inspections online. A group of citizens and construction contractors were invited to see a demo of the new tool. They were asked to "test drive" it and provide input on what they liked/didn't like, what features they would like to see added, etc. Many of the features suggested were implemented into the county's updated Permit Portal.