Health department looking to digitize


Highland County Health Commissioner Jared Warner discussed the organization’s plans to try and digitize its files at the weekly morning meeting of the Highland County Board of Commissioners.

Warner said that he and Julie Wallingford, records manager for Highland County, have been discussing ideas for the Laerfiche program, a program Highland County is using for its Cloud documentation service. He said the health department maintains around 80,000 to 100,000 pages of property records covering private water, household septic systems and nuisance complaints, among other records.

Warner said the health department would like to get to a point where that information has been scanned into a central database and people can login and access that information from their computer or smartphone.

“So that all seems like that fits well within what Laserfiche is able to do,” he said.

He also said that all of its documents exist on paper and nothing has been digitized. However, he said that the health department has some workforce funds that it’s already earmarked. He said the health department has already had an offer accepted from an employee to start doing some administrative work as well as some of the data entry part of the digitization. Because of that, he said the department doesn’t expect anything from Wallingford or the board of commissioners to make it happen other than account and system access.

“We plan to be fully self-sufficient and it’s gonna take some time to scan things in and get up and running,” Warner said.

Following the scanning, he said the department plans to keep all of its paper files on site so it can have the backup information. He said that’s in case something doesn’t get scanned properly or something is fuzzy.

Warner said he’s discussed the logistics of using the system in terms of the cost for user license and the amount of data storage, but nothing concrete.

Commissioner Dave Daniels said that when Wallingford was in the office last week, he said there were a couple of concerns about timing and how she sees the operation going on down the road.

“I don’t think it was a big delay, but I think she (Wallingford) was talking about she needed, she thought she needed some more time in there,” Daniels said.

He said the timing was due to the need to figure out the cost and if the health department’s use of the system would require more server space than what the county currently has allocated for its records retention operation.

Alongside the timing, Warner said a difficulty is not having access to the system, meaning the health department doesn’t know how it’s structured or the type of database system it is. He said those are the aspects of the system the health department wants figured out.

“This is a project as a health department we’re gonna move forward with one way or the other,” Warner said. “But it sounds like, if we partner with you guys, it might be a chance for us to save some costs and potentially cover some of your costs if we’re using some of that system. So we’re willing to figure out, you know, take our share of the expense and maybe not have to buy a totally separate system to manage this data.”

Daniels said that Wallingford had “indicated” a partnership was within the realm of possibility but that “she was cautious about moving forward” at this point. He also said that he thought she said she didn’t want to move forward with allowing additional licenses for “a couple of months.”

In other news, Warner said February is Heart Health Month and the health department is doing free Lipid panels. He said it’s a fasting lab so people can walk in or make an appointment. He also said the health department is having the Hoxworth Blood Bank come in on Feb. 22, so anyone interested in donating blood should come in then.

The commissioners approved the repair of a failed thermostat in the probation building for $1,224.

The commissioners made one approval, that being for equipment at the Harmony Lake Playground from Snyder Recreation, Inc.

Among resolutions approved by the board:

* Res. No. 24-29 is the receiving of a petition filed by Hamer Township Trustees to vacate one alley in Danville, located east of Danville Road and north of S.R. 138 in Hamer Township. The board agrees to set the public viewing for 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 28 and a public hearing for 11 a.m. the same day in the commissioners’ office.

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.

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