Calytera Blog
Insights from the CUPA Conference
February 25, 2020
By Calytera

We recently returned from a very valuable few days at the 22nd Annual California CUPA Training Conference. The event is an important chance for environmental health professionals in California to network, share best practices, and learn the latest information about protecting the environmental health of their communities.

We first attended CUPA in 2019 when we launched the Amanda Environmental Health Solution, which makes it easier and more efficient for California environmental health professionals to meet state-mandated reporting guidelines. The Fresno County Department of Public Health has been working with us since the launch and expects to go live with the new solution in the coming months. At the recent event, we presented on a panel with our colleagues from Fresno County to share the innovative capabilities of the new solution including CERS two-way integration, advanced analytics and reporting, and an offline-capable mobile app for inspectors.

One of our key insights from meeting environmental health professionals from across the state was that most are working with outdated legacy software to manage their workflows and reporting requirements, and some locations are even using purely manual processes such as spreadsheet tracking. Because of that, several challenges face these departments, namely:

  • Data from inspections, permits, reports, and more is rarely stored in one common data table. That makes it challenging — and at times impossible — when a county environmental health professional needs to pull a report (for example, a list of where all hazardous materials are stored in the county, a report on the efficiency of on-site inspections, etc.). This often results in that person having to work with their IT department just to pull a report, which is extremely inefficient.
  • It can be difficult and inefficient for environmental health inspectors to do their jobs. Often when inspecting a location, they are filling out hard copy paperwork and returning to the office to input data. Many of the legacy software systems in use do not have apps or software that allow reports to be filed remotely.
  • Systems and inspectors are not always armed with the latest information from CERS — which updates regularly. To receive violation library updates, professionals have to download the latest information while at offices, meaning they may be conducting inspections or approving permits without the latest requirements at hand.

Our solution has been built to solve those challenges for these professionals. Amanda, as an enterprise-platform, stores all data in one common dataset. That means employees and managers can easily pull the reports they need to effectively measure and manage their program.

The system features two-way integration with CERS so professionals always have access to the very latest violation libraries and their inspection results are automatically synced with the CERS system. This not only makes activities like inspections more efficient; it makes it far easier for these environmental health departments to remain compliant with state-mandated reporting guidelines.

Inspectors are empowered with an app that works on mobile devices in the field. They can receive scheduling, upload inspection reports and documents, and have access to the latest/greatest CERS information and requirements, all while in the field. Once an inspection is completed, the inspector can upload information from the field which automatically stores data in a common data set in Amanda and reports the details of the inspection (for example, the management of a hazardous materials collection site) to CERS. The app helps eliminate several manual steps so that inspectors can focus on high-value work in the field.

We’ll be sharing more news when Fresno County goes live on the new solution which, we expect to be soon. In the meantime — if you work with a local government and have similar environmental health reporting and management challenges (in California, or not), we’d love to talk about how we can help. Contact us today and we can work with you on an assessment and demo of the new solution.