Correctional Risk Services enables jails to maximize their annual medical expense budgets. CRS came to us with a desire to create an application that would replace the inefficient and inconsistent paper-based medical dispensary tracking system employed in many city and county jails. The current system lacks real-time inventory control, has a propensity for human error, and opens the door to a slew of potential liability issues. We worked to develop an Android application and Rails-based application that would improve the existing workflow for medical dispensation. Our work reduced dispensation time, litigation risk, manual workload, and human error, as well as track inventory, and provide immediate access to information.
I brought an unknown idea to the team which took much planning and development to get to where we are today. Every step was meticulously thought through from the user experience to the connectivity with the customer’s current database. Though it has been a long road, together we have been able to introduce a new product to a very niche market.
We planned, wireframed, and designed a prototype to serve as proof of concept for the medication dispensation product, concentrating on both Jail Administrators’ and Correctional Officers’ key screens and workflows within the application. We collaborated with the client to prioritize all essential functionality, mapping out future Phase I and Phase II additional features.
We recommended building a native Android application to help mitigate any potential WiFi connectivity issues within a county jail during dispensation and to allow for optimal “in-the-round” performance for the Correctional Officer. The price point of Android devices also fit well with the client’s target market, which was vital to the success of their future sales process.
Ruby on Rails
To allow for a more affordable and timely initial build, we recommended not building out a fully custom-designed admin panel for the backend of the application. By leveraging an “out of the box” interface, we were able to get the product into quality assurance and in front of users faster, shortening the feedback loop.
Our team planned to roll out our work in strategic cycles, giving us time to build, assess, and refine, and then move on to the next complementary piece of work. This process allowed us to account for uncovered complexity, continuously review our assumptions, and keep a firm grasp on the business needs of CRS and their end users. This resulted in a shippable product (JailCore) early on that was ready for sales meetings, industry conferences, and for early adopters in select county jails. The application provides a streamlined dispensation workflow, automated inventory alerts, and reordering, and makes it easy to navigate archived inmate medical histories. JailCore significantly increases accuracy and efficiency for jail administrators, correctional officers, and pharmaceutical companies, reducing inmate medical expenses and liability for jails.