Innovating Government Health Services in the 21st Century

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Innovating Government Health Services in the 21st Century

Few government services have such a direct impact on the lives of the American public as Health and Human Services (HHS) programs.

From child welfare and Medicaid to disease control and emergency preparedness programs, it’s essential for HHS agencies to effectively reach, onboard, and communicate with a multitude of people who rely on their critical programs every day. But the old way of engaging with the public is no longer effective. Customer experience innovations in the private sector — including among healthcare companies — are driving the demand for easy-to-use digital services in the public sector.

HHS agencies know that delivering better outcomes more efficiently helps them make a greater impact. Providing enhanced service delivery also results in more positive public sentiment, along with improved employee morale and retention (a real win-win).  Despite the awareness and urgent appeals of HHS leaders, legacy technologies coupled with manual and siloed processes have held agencies back from delivering better citizen experiences and achieving greater efficiency.

Manual processes reduce enrollments and slow down service delivery

HHS programs are the perfect example of the high-touch, high-value public services people need during personal struggles. However, the type of processes most agencies currently employ — involving personal, manual, and paper-based information gathering — inhibit their ability to deliver personalized services quickly to greater numbers of citizens.

Many government agencies still use outdated technologies and systems that do not integrate with one another, requiring manual processes that often lead to disjointed workflows. The result is increased wait times for services (sometimes weeks or even months), lost or mishandled requests, and enrollment abandonment. This is the opposite of the frictionless online experience that people have grown accustomed to from private sector service providers.

For those who do complete the enrollment process, the onboarding experience can be just as challenging. Siloed systems and data do not provide a complete view of a participant’s case, making it harder for a caseworker to make the right recommendations or take the right steps to deliver the exact services their clients need.

Times and services are changing

Approximately eight in ten American consumers say their experiences with U.S. federal government agencies are “poor” or “very poor,” according to a leading global research and advisory firm.

Taking a cue from their private sector counterparts, government agencies are placing greater emphasis on, and aggressively pursuing, new approaches to improving their digital experience.

“In HHS agencies, streamlined services mean that more people get what they critically need to survive and thrive,” says Megan Atchley, health and human services practice lead at Adobe. Lawmakers have begun to recognize this need, and a bipartisan bill in Congress called the 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act (IDEA) sets clear benchmarks and timelines for government departments to improve their internal and external digital services.

Although the bill clearly outlines strategies for streamlining agency processes and saving taxpayer dollars, it doesn’t fully address the cultural obstacles agencies face in their journey to provide an exceptional experience to the people they serve. Specifically, HHS agencies across the country still must contend with:

  • Addressing immediate problems while also holistically improving their overall experience
  • Integrating siloed systems and improving inefficient communications
  • Defining, measuring, and sharing key performance indicators for customer experience
  • Protecting sensitive citizen information from unauthorized access and use
  • Meeting stringent financial and budgetary constraints

Modernizing government services with 21st century solutions

Adobe and Microsoft have partnered to develop an integrated platform that lets HHS agencies drastically improve the way they onboard and serve citizens.

Using Adobe Experience Manager Forms, HHS agencies can deliver modern enrollment experiences with responsive forms and documents that adapt to any device or screen size and integrate with legacy systems. Information captured in forms is submitted directly to back-end systems like Microsoft Dynamics, where workflows are kicked off to assign and manage onboarding tasks. Ongoing communication — such as appointment reminders — can be delivered through print or digital channels from the same communication template, with data embedded directly from Microsoft Dynamics to personalize the citizen’s experience. Adobe Sign also works natively with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for your e-signature approvals to simply approval processes.  Altogether, these solutions allow agencies to reduce their reliance on paper-based, manual workflows.

Other Adobe tools like Adobe Analytics and Adobe Campaign integrate with Microsoft Dynamics to provide a deep-dive analysis of enrollment campaigns, including measuring interactions with content and tools and collecting rich data — without necessarily collecting personally identifiable information (PII) — from a variety of sources to gain visibility into individual cases and improve the agency’s outreach initiatives as a whole.

These solutions help to remove the friction between digitally savvy citizens and the current paper-based enrollment forms used by many HHS services. By modernizing form processes, and other communications, HHS gives the end user an intuitive and fully connected experience. As an added bonus, the paper-based, manual processes previously required to demonstrate compliance are made easier.

Together, Adobe and Microsoft can help agencies replace inefficient processes with integrated, seamless systems that provide a quicker time to value for agencies and the people they serve by:

  • Eliminating manual data collection, providing entry to free resources, and focusing on improving the overall citizen experience.
  • Producing a single, holistic view of citizen requests, enabling case managers to make better decisions on their behalf.
  • Deploying next-generation technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning to enable large-scale data analyses and further enhance solutions for citizens.
  • Breaking down communication and collaboration silos to boost productivity, clear up confusion, and improve the citizen experience.
  • Delivering the flexibility and business agility to rapidly scale without sacrificing data security or compliance with regulatory requirements.

Adobe and Microsoft are changing how HHS agencies nationwide operate and collaborate. To learn more about Adobe’s approach to government form solutions, read the GovLoop report, Increasing Efficiency in Government With Digitized Forms.

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