This summary, based on a member’s notes, is designed to emphasize the collaborative spirit of the meeting: On April 20, about 30 SEIU Local 221 members met with Nick Macchione, Agency Director of the County Health and Human Services Agency, to talk about better serving the community.
The employees gave up their Friday evening to support the intentions of ConnectWellSD, a computer program, which was created with the goal of increasing communication and coordination among County services. It is designed to ensure that residents are receiving full access to the services they are entitled to. However, many employees raised serious concerns about the way it is being implemented. SEIU presented data from about 50 surveys on the employees’ experience with this program. SEIU continues to collect surveys about this issue and, as of May 3, has about 100, which will be shared with management to work toward improvements in the system and make progress together.
The experience shared by front-line employees in the room and the surveys covered areas where progress is being made, including finally updating an old, paperwork based system. The group also addressed areas of concern, such as manual data entry from other systems, clients being sent to the wrong people and wrong locations, double-booked appointments, lack of a backup when the system is down and assignment deadlines that don’t take into account nonworking days. The group generated ideas about how to address these issues, including more time to complete tasks, increased training time without any incoming assignments, using surveys and focus groups to identify problems and having managers share with their supervisors problems and concerns with the system.
The goal of this meeting was to support a collaborative model where workers, County leadership, and the community come together to make progress. This will allow ConnectWell to truly deliver the best and most efficient services possible to the residents of San Diego County.