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Making Government Faster, Better, and More Secure With Laravel

Through compliance and tech challenges, we took an app from conception to delivery in less than four months, providing the client with a case management tool that is fast, secure, easy to train on and even easier to use.

The Vault, case management app, diagram

The Challenge

Keeping track of all the people who apply for government services can be a bureaucratic nightmare. Every time a person comes in looking for help with job training or other services, government employees have to start by running through a long list of questions, collecting information on everything from employment history to health issues. The process is onerous and frustrating, making it too easy for people to give up or get lost in the system. That’s why Third & Grove created The Vault, a Laravel-built, cloud-based case management system that pulls many data sources into one tool. Now, state and local government employees can key in identifying factors and gather information from multiple agencies in one place. It’s a time saving tool that has real implications for governments, their budgets, and the people they serve.

Our Approach

For us, and our client, Literacy Pro, the challenge of the project lay in making this online system user-friendly and comprehensible. Where most government data systems collect information on a screen that presents as a dense and inscrutable mess, TAG designed a web app built with the Laravel framework that has a clean interface and a clear and logical workflow. Each step is self-verifying, ensuring that users provide all the relevant documentation or information before progressing, and allowing users to easily see constituent progress. Regardless of whether they began the intake process with another agent or even another agency, customers' data is always easily accessible from any location. It also collects  data as workers fill out the form, filling in answers automatically, and saving time down the line.

“We’ve been stunned by the work that Third & Grove has delivered. They’ve been with us since the project’s conception, helping to shape a final product that users love and of which we’re all extremely proud.”

 

The Technology

Improving the level of service governments can provide for their constituents comes with a lot of requirements. The client needed our web app to be HIPAA and FERPA compliant and highly secure to protect privacy. It needed to be able to provide intake forms, check user data against various databases, schedule appointments, record and evaluate assessment scores, store supporting documents, refer customers to appointments, and generate performance reports. We also needed to build a robust, entity and field model data object model to provide field-level permission and encryption. Laravel was the perfect framework—we were able to save time on development by getting a lot of components out-of-box, but also had the flexibility to customize elements to meet our client’s needs.

We built Vault on Heroku because it’s highly adaptive to capacity infrastructure—governments can change the scale of the tool at any time—and incorporated Pentaho, a business intelligence and reporting tool. Now, government users can track the number of people coming into the system, and map where they are in the intake process.

The Result

TAG conceived the entire multi-step workflow and took the project from idea to implementation, all in the incredibly short time frame of 16 weeks. Now, Vault is already in use in California and the District of Columbia.