Courts focus on the processing of cases through the justice system. Whether it is a criminal case initiated from an arrest or a civil case initiated by an individual, the primary responsibility of the court is to insure that the case moves through the justice system ideally in a timely manner. As it is moving through the system, charges are filed, arrests are made, events are scheduled, notices are generated and sent to participants, fines are imposed, fees and fines are collected and disbursed, etc.
In order to efficiently manage these cases court personnel take on many tasks that require significant knowledge to complete. The number of tasks and the variety of these tasks along with required timeliness of completion of these activities is sometimes overwhelming to the staff based on the increased caseloads that are being put on the courts.
To handle the increased workload and a higher number of cases the courts turn to automation to be the answer. But many times automation does not provide the solution that is expected. In order to use automation effectively, information has to be complete, accurate and easily available to the users of a system. The software system needs to provide tools to court personnel to properly manage their workload, improve their ability to complete tasks and increase productivity through processing multiple action items faster. It needs to incorporate integration with an imaging system to provide easy access to documentation received by the court. It should rely on a proven relational database for storage of information. It should provide high availability robust desktop interface for high usage users and a web based inquiry access for external agencies and the public.
A case management software application should accomplish multiple goals when implemented properly. First it should be a productivity tool. To be an efficient and effective productivity tool it should integrate with desktop applications for forms generation and document scanning. It should provide quick access to information for both the occasional user and the full time court personnel that rely on it to fulfill their job tasks. It should provide the ability to make users more productive in their duties by making tasks quicker and easier than before. It should provide tools that help new users learn the system but do not hinder the experienced user. It should provide for consistency in collection of information to insure accurate reporting. DuProcess® provides this and more.
DuProcess® Court Case Management system is a fully functional process oriented software application developed specifically for courts. It is designed to capture significant data related to managing court cases from their initiation through post disposition. DuProcess® provides a client server desktop interface for the input users of the system. This is fully integrated with Microsoft® Word for document and forms generation. It is directly integrated with imaging capabilities for scanning and retrieval of case related documents filed with the court. It provides a web based inquiry for remote access. This remote access and the desktop access both utilize DuProcess® role based security for access rights to information in the system.
In order to access information, it has to be in the system. The information can get into the system via several ways. The most common is data entry. Data entry efficiency is measured in different ways by different sets of statistics, but the most important characteristic is throughput efficiency. The amount of time it takes to put the information in the system. If a user performs the same task hundreds of times a day, saving a few seconds each time the task is performed can calculate into hours of savings at the end of the day. This is one area that DuProcess® has placed focus. Capturing information in a logical order depending on the activity can help save time. Having the system automatically display the correct input screen to the user by knowing the activity the user is performing is a key element in accomplishing this.
DuProcess® incorporates two features that help the user improve speed of entry by taking advantage of this process. DuProcess® Workflow/Tickler and DuProcess® Call Modules provide the local department head or administrator of the system the ability to set up tasks or activities to walk the user through the necessary data input or update based on the activity taking place. For example, suppose a warrant is executed. When this takes place the user needs to update the execution information, possibly update bond status and release information and in some cases schedule a court event.
By configuring DuProcess® workflow, the user doesn’t have to know all of the specific pieces information needed for entry. The system will walk the user through the data entry prompting for data as required. This same type of configuration can be implemented for any actions or activities as they are identified. This one feature of DuProcess® has proven to accomplish several key issues with users. It has proven to save hours and hours of work because of the system “knowing” the elements necessary for input. It helps with the teaching of the system to new users by displaying relevant screens for input based on the activity taking place. It has proven to insure more consistent data capture resulting in more accurate records because all users perform activities the same.
The ability to do data entry without relying on the mouse proves to be a substantial productivity characteristic for high input users. When a user is moving through a screen and comes to a field that has a lookup list available, by having to move their hand from the keyboard to the mouse to click a button then scroll and click the desired value, then put their hand back on the keyboard valuable input time is lost. It has been proven that data entry requiring a mouse versus full keyboard data entry can cut a users productivity in half. DuProcess® provides for full keyboard data entry so the user can press a keyboard key for lookup list instead of the mouse. The mouse is always available but the user has the option to stay in full keyboard entry. The occasional user may prefer the mouse, but the high volume data entry persons usually prefer the keyboard entry to expedite processing of their workload.
DuProcess® provides for capture and recording of information in logical business specific areas of functionality. It provides a master person database as the basis for all individuals associated to a case as the participants while keeping justice personnel associated to the case separated so that they are not part of a general public lookup. By utilizing a master person database, case histories are developed over time, providing judges with improved access to information in determining proper outcome and sentencing to cases.
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