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Elderly disabled lady with her caregiver

Oregon Department of Human Services

How Our Emergency Response Management Solution Saves Lives

Protecting elderly and at-risk citizens with life-saving digital technology.

Situated atop shifting tectonic plates in the Cascadia subduction zone, Oregon is particularly susceptible to natural disasters like earthquakes. Add to that the increasingly devasting threat of wildfires, and it’s no wonder emergency response and evacuation assistance are top of mind for Oregon’s state government agencies. When the state teamed up with Publicis Sapient, we proved that when disaster strikes, digital transformation truly can save lives. From analog to automated, from paper to pixels and from manual to mechanized, we digitized emergency response management for optimal accuracy, efficiency and impact.

The Imperative for Change 

During state emergencies, many vulnerable people within the state’s care become displaced, leaving their loved ones in anguish and causing lapses in critical healthcare. Before our work with the State of Oregon’s Aging & People with Disabilities program, paper maps and binders full of spreadsheets were the primary tools used to coordinate statewide emergency responses. But with many potential single points of failure, these manual systems required stringent oversight to prevent life-altering mistakes. One long-time employee named Marsha kept track of all emergency materials, maintaining meticulous records and overseeing response coordination for years. But that meant in times of chaos, the fates of thousands of at-risk Oregonians lay in her hands. 

Marsha was responsible for coordinating disaster relief resources for 47,000 nursing home residents across 2,100 licensed facilities, in addition to 20,000 in-home patients. During any given emergency, she could be seen shuffling through piles of paper, cross-referencing spreadsheets and consulting her binders full of maps to identify which facilities needed aid most urgently. The state’s desire to digitize meant that one day Marsha could finally feel comfortable retiring. Together, we began working to implement impactful technology that would not only save peoples’ lives but also ensure that when Marsha left, the people of Oregon were in good hands.

Wild fire in the woods

The Transformative Solution 

By baking efficiency, accuracy, security and productivity into the digital solutions used by the State of Oregon, we knew we could help ensure that emergency assistance met today’s modern standards. So, we consolidated disparate processes into one singular platform, digitized manual workflows, turned spreadsheets into maps and built out a system that would support the complex workflows needed to urgently assist residents in need. The final product was bundled into an easy-to-use Emergency Response Management solution. Now, displaced citizens are accurately tracked and safely rehomed, ensuring the care regimens they depend on aren’t compromised. 

hub-oregon platform dashboard

The Impact

With tech becoming more integral to operations each year and allowing people to do more with less, data-driven digital know-how has quickly become the State of Oregon’s biggest asset. Responders now know ahead of time which at-home care patients need more than just a knock on the door and are able to help the most at-risk residents first. The harrowing obstacles citizens experience during life-threatening emergencies are now addressed more effectively. Meanwhile, with the peace of mind that comes from future-proof, people-first digital solutions, Marsha has since happily retired.

residents evacuated
staff members evacuated
All incidents tracked and triaged digitally
John Meyer
John Meyer
VP Business Development