The Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) was formed in 1925 as a result of legislation establishing a workers’ compensation system in Arizona. Since its inception, the ICA’s responsibilities have grown to include various labor-related issues such as occupational safety and health, youth employment, resolution of wage related disputes, minimum wage, earned paid sick time, vocational rehabilitation, and workers’ compensation self-insurance. Headquartered in Phoenix, the agency has over 200 employees that seek to protect the life, health, safety, and welfare of Arizona’s workforce.
As with many state agencies, the ICA’s technology infrastructure was brittle and outdated. In 2016, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey encouraged state agencies to embrace new technologies and migrate to more modern, cloud-based platforms. In 2017, following the Governor’s lead, the ICA initiated the “Workers’ Compensation Claims Modernization Project” with the goal of utilizing leading-edge technology to more effectively and efficiently serve parties in the workers’ compensation system.
The agency was using COBOL, a monolithic computer programming language developed in the late 1950s, for many of its core operational processes. However, the language had become outdated, and it was challenging to find knowledgeable programmers to keep the system fully operational. This created an environment of risk and uncertainty, and it was apparent that moving to a cloud-based solution would be imperative for sustainability and scalability and offer an opportunity to improve programs that serve the citizens of Arizona.
After receiving project approval from the Information Technology Authorization Committee (ITAC), the ICA published an RFP to locate a vendor that could assist with the system transformation. MST Solutions (MST), an award-winning provider of Salesforce and marketing automation consulting, was chosen for the project. MST is a local company headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, which was an additional benefit.
The ICA launched one of the most comprehensive and complex modernization projects in the state of Arizona. The Claims Division, which went live with Salesforce in 2019, migrated close to 45 million records, including 3.8 million claims, 78,000 ALJ cases, and 26+ million documents into the new system.
The agency’s outbound document flow has also seen a significant improvement in time savings and efficiency. “Prior to working with MST, we lacked a centralized mailing process, and it took 15 human touches to produce a single document,” explained Tate. “Today, documents are automatically generated, printed, enveloped, and sent to the mailroom for printing and processing. This helped reduce the process to a single human touchpoint.”
With the new cloud-based interface, ICA staff can work remotely. “The fact that most employees that worked on site were able to work from home during the pandemic was incredible,” noted Hill.
The ICA has an ongoing support relationship with MST and has plans to transition each of its other business units to Salesforce.
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