Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Risk Prevention and Management (PA-RPM) 4: Technology and Information Management

The agency’s technology and information systems have sufficient capability to support operations, service delivery, strategic planning, and quality improvement activities.

Interpretation

The standards in this section address the management of all types of paper and electronic information maintained by the agency including:
  1. case records and other information of persons served;
  2. administrative, financial, and risk management records and reports;
  3. personnel files and other human resources records; 
  4. performance and quality improvement data and reports; and
  5. contract monitoring data and reports.
NA State-administered agency regional office
2020 Edition

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Purpose

Proactive, comprehensive, and systematic risk prevention and management practices sustain the agency’s ability to positively impact the communities and people it serves by reducing its risk, loss, and liability exposure.
1
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the agency's practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  
  • All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions: exceptions do not impact service quality or agency performance. 
2
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance
A rating of (2) indicates that an agency's infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement.
  • The majority of the standards requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented. 
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality or agency performance.
3

Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that the agency's observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement.  

  • The agency has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework.  
  • Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  
  • Service quality or agency functioning may be compromised.  
  • Capacity is at a basic level.
4
Unsatisfactory Implementation or Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.  
  • The agency’s observed administration and management infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
County/Municipality Administered Agency, State Administered Agency (Central Office), or other Public Entity
  • Most recent technology and information management assessment 
  • Information management procedures/guidelines 
  • For state-administered child welfare systems, most recent SACWIS Assessment and Improvement Plan 
State Administered Agency (Regional Office)
  • Evaluated at Central Office only
County/Municipality Administered Agency, State Administered Agency (Central Office), or other Public Entity
  • Agreements with third parties (e.g., information technology vendors, business associates, etc.), when applicable
State Administered Agency (Regional Office)
  • Evaluated at Central Office only
County/Municipality Administered Agency, State Administered Agency (Central Office), or other Public Entity
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Finance personnel
    2. PQI personnel
    3. Information systems manager
    4. Direct service personnel
  • Observe information systems
State Administered Agency (Regional Office)
  • Evaluated at Central Office only

 

PA-RPM 4.01

The agency assesses its technology and information management needs based on feedback from direct service staff and supervisors and a review of:
  1. current technology and information systems in use by the agency;
  2. short- and long-term goals for utilizing technology; and
  3. current technical skills of staff and need for training.
Examples: Involving direct service staff and supervisors in the needs assessment of current technology and information systems can help produce information systems that are needs-driven, flexible, and user-friendly.

 

PA-RPM 4.02

The agency has an information management system that:
  1. gives personnel consistent, timely, and appropriate access to paper and electronic records; and
  2. supports continuity and integration of care across settings and services by giving timely access to information about persons served to practioners across the agency, as appropriate.

Interpretation

Agencies moving to electronic systems may need to develop procedures for maintaining both electronic and paper records including procedures for maintaining consistency between the two file types and ensuring the electronic record is comprehensive and complete. If there are components of paper records that cannot be accommodated electronically, the agency should consider how it will retain and document the existence of supplemental, paper-based portions of records.

 

PA-RPM 4.03

The agency’s electronic information systems are appropriate to its size and complexity and permit:
  1. information sharing between the public agency and its contracted providers, when applicable; 
  2. capturing, tracking, and reporting financial, compliance, and other business information;
  3. access to real-time data to inform decision making at the worker, program, region/community, agency, and system level;
  4. longitudinal reporting and comparison of performance over time; and
  5. useful, clear, and consistent data reporting.

Interpretation

“Electronic information systems” are used for collecting, storing, analyzing, and disseminating information electronically. An electronic information system may consist of a single desktop or larger network of computers, laptops, and/or devices. Agencies must have systems that can effectively support their administrative operations and service delivery. 
NA Another entity is responsible for selecting or designing the electronic information system state-wide.