Cook County Earns More Recognition for Its Technology Advances

For three years in a row, the Center for Digital Government (CDG) named Cook County one of America's Top 10 Digital Counties with a population of more than one million. The 2018 award identifies the best technology practices among U.S. counties, including initiatives that streamline delivery of government services, encourage collaboration and shared services, enhance cybersecurity and even reduce carbon emissions.

The award was announced at the National Association of Counties (NACo) annual conference in Nashville, Tenn. The CDG’s Digital Counties Survey provides an annual measure of performance and innovation by counties throughout the U.S. in using technology.

In this 16th annual survey, the CDG and NACo were looking for counties which align technologies with their governmental goals; which save tax dollars through newfound efficiencies; which boost transparency, cybersecurity and engagement; as well as innovate through unique and exciting projects.

Highlights from Cook County's entry include:

  • Cook County is implementing a comprehensive Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system across all its offices, bureaus and departments — The Strategic & Tactical Enterprise Processes (STEP) ERP project aims to transform practices and operations in Cook County by providing a single data source sharing information across multiple systems throughout the organization. This project touches on a number of Cook County internal areas including: 
    • General Ledger
    • Purchasing
    • Accounts Payable and Receivable
    • Grants and Projects Accounting
    • Budget Preparation & Control
    • Human Resources
    • Payroll
    • Benefits Management
    • Inventory Management
    • Organization-wide Reporting and Analytics 
  • In 2017, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office released over six years of felony criminal case data on the Cook County Open Data Portal. The release – the first of its kind in the Country – provides unprecedented access and transparency into the work of a prosecutor’s office. 
  • The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office had another nationwide first by releasing all its case-level data to the public through a portal with dashboards, maps, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and tools for analysis. 
  • Cook County on Dec. 1, 2017, unveiled “Cook Central” – a mapping and geographic data hub for sharing information with the public. Cook Central is a one-stop shop for the County’s Department of Geographic Information Systems (GIS).  Cook County uses GIS applications, such as the new Connect to Cook 2.0, – to provide business owners, residents and entrepreneurs with free access to critical information that can help them open a business or relocate to Cook County.
  • The new Department of Revenue Integrated Tax Processing System represents a major improvement for County operations. The system modernizes the administration of Cook County home rule taxes by providing many state-of-the-art features such as online return filing, self-registration and independent account maintenance. 
  • In 2017, Cook County’s Open Data team rolled out an analytics site to provide a window into how people are interacting with Cook County government online. The data come from Google Analytics accounts that track traffic to Cook County sites. 
  • Cook County has added the ability for residents to comment on pending legislation online. Residents can locate the meeting in which the legislation will be considered and then enter their comments
  • The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) has officially granted the CCHHS Ambulatory and Community Health Network (ACHN) Stage 7 designation. Stage 7 is the highest level of Electronic Medical Record (EMR) implementation and recognizes CCHHS success in fully implementing EMR across the County’s Health System. Only 10% of American clinics have reached stage 7.

The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute focused on technology policy and best practices in state and local government. The Center provides public and private sector leaders with support and actionable insight to help drive 21st-century government.

The Center is a division of e.Republic, the nation’s only media and research company focused exclusively on state and local government and education.