We live in an age where citizens use their mobile phone to manage all aspects of their lives, from paying bills to managing their bank accounts. Citizens now demand government public sector agencies provide them with the same routes to access the benefits and services that they are entitled to. With the new IBM Watson Health Universal Access, government agencies can connect and engage with their citizens and ultimately help citizens reach their socio-economic potential.
IBM Watson Health Universal Access provides government agencies with the tools they need to give citizens a modern and easily accessible way to apply for and get the benefits and services that they need. With Universal Accessâ€™s mobile first design, any government agency can deliver mobile-friendly online services that both meet their digital service or Connected Government commitments and provide citizens with a simple and intuitive experience when they apply for the assistance that they need.
With Universal Access, governments can easily engage with their citizens and deliver great online services that increase citizensâ€™ trust in them.
Using IBM Design thinking, we put citizens at the centre of our solution. Through thorough user research, we identified the pain points for citizens managing their interactions with the agencies and then, built a solution that caters for all types of users, that delivers the experience that users expect from modern consumer apps, which is accessible and easy-to- use by all users, from the most technically advanced user, to the user who has little or no technological experience.
Using the responsive web application, a citizen can see the agencyâ€™s available services and benefits, and self-screen for eligibility. From a personal dashboard, a citizen can apply for benefits and services, track the progress of applications, see when payments are due, receive notifications from the agency, and update the agency with any changes in their circumstances that might have an impact on their eligibility.
Helping agencies to be more efficient
While placing citizens at the heart of our solution we have also catered for the needs of our customers, the government agencies. Staff and caseworkers working at the agency benefit, as the workstreams facilitated by the web application help reduce administrative tasks. It removes the pressure on and increases the efficiency of caseworkers, by reducing service center traffic, they are freed from paperwork to focus on the more complex cases and tasks that need attention.
As our key sponsor user, NYC HRA has already been reaping the rewards from collaborating with us and building out their new responsive web application.
â€śClose to 80 percent of SNAP applications are submitted online, and foot traffic in our office are down by 30 percentâ€ť
– Lauren Aaronson, Deputy Commissioner, NYC Department of Social Services
Configurable business processes
Every agency has its own unique workflows and processes, so IBM Universal Access caters for this with out-of-the-box business processes that can be easily and fully customised to suit the needs of the agency and its caseworkers. A full suite of REST APIâ€™s can be extended and the agency can connect their citizen portal to a range of disparate backend to keep a consistent and seamless experience for their citizens.
Watson Health aspires to help governments improve health and human services value, lower costs and have a meaningful impact on peopleâ€™s lives. With IBM Watson Health Universal Access, we transform the way governments can engage with their citizens, by providing a streamlined online portal.
Learn more about IBM Universal Access
To read how we have worked with the NYC DSS to create a human- centred service using Universal Access, see Good design is good business in government: design partnership with the New York City Department of Social Services
Learn more about working with and customizing IBM Universal Access in our Knowledge Center