Ensuring Project Success

Extensive Project Experience

Listed below are summaries of some of the projects that Purple Squirrel Services has completed. These represent a cross-section of the kinds of services we provide and the clients we serve.

California Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS)

CA-EDRS is California's system for electronic death certificate origination and registration. A death certificate provides prima facie evidence of a personís death and is relied upon for important legal proceedings as well as for the creation of important derivative public health and regulatory data. California currently processes over 250,000 new death certificates per year (1 in 10 deaths in the U.S.). The Web-based CA-EDRS system, developed with a J2EE architecture, provides the ability for coroners, funeral directors, doctors, and hospitals to submit electronic death certificates for registration 24 hours a day.

Purple Squirrel Services (PSS) led a 3 person project oversight team to support the California Department of Health Services with the EDRS project. PSS staff provided Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) of all vendor work products as well as Independent Project Oversight (IPO) reporting to the Department of Finance, including the development of the Post-Implementation Evaluation Report (PIER). By supporting DHS project management with risk management and other oversight services, providing hands-on testing, and supporting implementation planning PSS staff contributed to the on-time, on-budget implementation of EDRS.

For more information about CA-EDRS, please visit their website at: http://www.edrs.us/edrs/index.jsp

Oregon Automated Computer Capture and Storage System (ACCESS) Project

Oregon ACCESS is a custom developed, client centered case management tool for 1800 workers across 60+ sites in the Oregon Department of Human Services, Seniors and Persons with Disabilities (SPD) Division. The application is primarily a client-server application using PowerBuilder on the front-end and a Sybase database. The application has numerous interfaces with other DHS systems. ACCESS was initially developed by a large-system integrator in 1995.

Purple Squirrel Services (PSS) first began helping DHS enhance the ACCESS application in 2004. PSS has lead four major enhancements to the ACCESS application since 2004. PSS has provided project management, planning, design, coding, testing, and implementation services for ACCESS enhancements ranging from adding forms and reports to the system, to the redesign of subsystems, to the upgrade of major application architecture components.

Oregon Reporting and Analyzing Information for NAPIS (RAIN) Project

Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS), Seniors and Persons with Disabilities (SPD) Division provides services funded by the federal Older Americans Act through their local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) offices. Each year SPD must prepare and submit a State Program Report (SPR) via the National Aging Program Information System (NAPIS). Due to significant changes in the reporting requirements Purple Squirrel Services was hired to help find a new solution. PSS identified alternatives for DHS and completed a feasibility study, including cost-benefit analysis, of the alternatives. DHS decided to follow PSS' recommendation to develop a new web-based application, Reporting and Analyzing Information for NAPIS (RAIN). PSS was engaged by DHS to design, develop, and implement RAIN as a J2EE application using IBM WebSphere and incorporating JSP, Javascript, Java Bean, XML, and Web Service technologies.

This secure application is deployed at: https://dhs-web3.hr.state.or.us/SRT/

Oregon Staffing Study and Career Planning

The Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) will be developing and implementing a new Medicaid Management Information system (MMIS). In anticipation of the implementation of the new MMIS, DHS has taken a proactive approach for the transition of its Office of Information Services (OIS) staff whose positions will be impacted by the new system. Purple Squirrel Services conducted a skills assessment of the OIS impacted staff using a skills framework developed in-house by PSS staff called, PREP.

In addition to the individual skill assessments, PSS interviewed OIS executives and line managers to determine the current and future technical skill requirements within OIS. Using the results of the technology skill assessment PSS worked with each of the impacted staff and their managers to develop individualized career plans and training plans, where appropriate.

Automated Welfare Systems

Purple Squirrel Services staff have extensive experience with large-scale, automated welfare applications. Most recently several PSS staff worked as subcontractors on the Michigan BRIDGES project, which is a web-based automated welfare system providing statewide case management, eligibility determination, benefits computations, reporting, and much more to Michigan case managers. PSS staff worked as application programmers, testers, and trainers for the MI-BRIDGES project. Prior to the MI-BRIDGES project, PSS staff provided implementation and training support for the CalWIN project, which is a client-server based automated welfare system supporting a consortium of 18 medium to large size California counties.

Food Stamp Payment Accuracy

In the late 1990s the matter of state's issuing correct Food Stamps benefits to aid recipients took center stage for the federal government. In the following years hundreds of millions of dollars in fiscal sanctions were assessed by the federal government on state's that failed to meet the payment accuracy standards set by the federal government. In order to mitigate those federal sanctions, many states and local jurisdictions created Food Stamp Payment Accuracy Initiatives. With a strong track record with health and human services clients and a proven approach to organizational effectiveness and technology assessments, Purple Squirrel Services was able to help several clients overcome their Food Stamp Payment Accuracy challenges.

Purple Squirrel Services (PSS) staff worked directly with San Diego County and has worked as a subcontractors to a larger firm to assist several other California counties, including Orange, San Joaquin, and Los Angeles, as well as the State of Michigan to improve payment accuracy. PSS reviewed the practices and procedures of welfare operations by interviewing management and staff, reviewing floor level processing, holding focus groups with staff, and analyzing quality assurance and supplemental data. We made recommendations that helped our clients with their Food Stamp Error Rate challenges.

For more information on this topic, please visit the USDA website at: http://www.fns.usda.gov/fns/