City of Chicago – Disaster Preparedness

Digital Transformation for a mega city’s disaster preparedness response website platform

Project Overview

Modernizing City of Chicago’s Disaster Preparedness Resource Website with Illinois Health and Hospital Association

The City of Chicago and the Illinois Health and Hospital Association (IHA) Coalition needed help bringing their legacy systems up-to-date to better serve their community of first responders, medical administrators, and staffers so the could effectively respond to disasters in around Chicago.

The Illinois Health and Hospital Association had a project they needed to complete and all they had to do was provide a learning portal for their first responders and medical administrative teams and they needed to have an easy to use website that would promote important events, conferences, and provide a wealth of resources to City of Chicago’s disaster preparedness response teams.

DigiSavvy was tapped for the task to perform training, creating documentation, consulting, and production of this all new digital communications platform.

The Challenge

Government agencies are typically bad about keeping software and hardware systems up to date. The lack of upgrades and new software were getting in the way of IHA’s goal of providing an online resource platform. They knew they needed to provide training and classes to first responders on a variety of topics—thus they required an online learning management system to help deliver course materials.

IHA’s project administrator reached out to DigiSavvy regarding building out a Learning Management System for their team. Not only that, they needed an on-site resource who could provide easy-to-follow digital training on how to use the platform. The problem, also, was that long-time staffers were reluctant to work with new technologies and were used to be disappointed by a previous vendors. Thus, a provider was needed who could disseminate technical jargon into easy-to-follow, actionable, steps.

No problem! DigiSavvy was on the case.

The Solution

DigiSavvy worked with City of Chicago’s IT department to identify the appropriate secure solution for hosting the website. DigiSavvy also advised on creating course curriculum, and how best to deliver the course materials to staff. DigiSavvy was also tasked with the odd request of creating a custom WordPress plugin that could convert Microsoft Powerpoint files to image slides to be used inside of a WP instance. No problem.

DigiSavvy leveraged the power of Open Source utilities to deliver a robust website platform for the Coalition to utilize for their response teams.

Hosting was provided by Pantheon, which was able to meet City of Chicago’s requirements around security, filesystem privileges, and HIPAA requirements.

DigiSavvy further provided the following:

  • A robust event management system for hosting conferences, allowing for attendee signups, with proper events calendaring system.
  • DigiSavvy provided training and documentation for IHA and City of Chicago staffers and first responders.
  • DigiSavvy built, redesigned, and maintained three websites crucial to the communication and functionality of the City of Chicago and IHA Disaster Preparedness response efforts.
  • Provide Email Marketing and Delivery services for communicating crucial upcoming events and registration info.
  • Ongoing support and maintenance
  • Custom WordPress plugin to convert Powerpoint Training Files into Slideshows to be viewed on WordPress pages and posts.
  • A solid web hosting platform, provided by Pantheon systems.
  • Onsite training and documentation for website usage and LMS usage

The Results

The Coalition was able to meet the State’s directives around training and education of their First Responder teams and administrative staffers.

They were able to ditch a paper-based solution and get their teams off of the phones and completely let their website platform manage event registration, individual, self-guided, training and more.

The Coalition were able to modernize and transform their processes and replace them with a true, all-in-one, digital platform, save costs on administration, and increase productivity by putting their staff back to work on initiatives that matter, rather than managing clunky paper trails and interrupting event-related phone calls.

“DigiSavvy has been a wonderful vendor to work with. They do what they say, they deliver on time, and they’re a pleasure to work with. Alex, Adrian, Kaelyn and the team are superb.”

Keneatha Johnson Project Manager, City of Chicago