Showing posts from November, 2006

Standardized Measurement Reports Generated by Automated Systems: An Afterthought?

Automated case management systems -- as well as other automated systems for finance, jury utilization and management, fine and fee collection, and other court functions -- typically have a “reporting” functionality. Users are able to view various standardized reports generated by the automated systems.

An Example

For example, using the Odyssey case management system, developed by Tyler Technologies Inc. of Plano, Texas, the Clerk of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit in Ft. Myers, Florida (and, at least theoretically, any individual or agency with inquiry access to the system), can access over 60 standardized reports under the following headings: (1) case analysis (e.g., cases without activity, listing cases without base events that have been filed for a specified period of time); (2) case administration (e.g., case load activity report, a summary report of court activity indicating changes in counts and percentages of cases filed and disposed from the start to end dates for any date range)…

In Praise of Employee Satisfaction

After participating in two judicial conferences recently, in which the idea of surveying court employee opinions (see Measure 9 of the CourTools) was met with considerable skepticism, especially by judges, I was particularly struck by a Toyota magazine ad that pictured a group of smiling and seemingly satisfied Toyota plant workers. The ad read in part:

Being a good corporate citizen starts with hiring lots of good citizens. What’s a good corporate citizen? It’s about people. People who care about what they do and how they do it. And at Toyota, we know these people pretty well. Because we hire them every chance we get. … [They] take pride in everything they do. Quality, teamwork and dependability, that’s what they are all about. [They] care about doing what’s right; at work as well as in their communities. They really are good citizens. Which in turn makes Toyota a better corporate citizen. Isn’t nice when things work out?

In an article titled “No Satisfaction,” Charles Fishman (Fast Co…

Are Courts Ready for Some Serious Games?

On a recent flight, I sat next to Robert Hone, creative director of Red Hill Studios in Larkspur, California. He was on his way to the Serious Games Summit held October 30 and 31 in Washington, D.C. The summit, Hone explained, brings together game developers, buyers, and industry professionals to exchange ideas and advance the state of the art of serious games for government, professional training, education, healthcare, military, science, and social change. Hone, it turns out, designs serious games for a living. We talked about serious games for court managers.

Serious games (SGs), according to Wikipedia, are “computer and video games that are intended to not only entertain users, but have additional purposes such as education and training.” The term serious games came into wide use in 2002 when the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington D.C. launched the Serious Games Initiative to encourage the development of games that address policy and management issu…

Pursuing Perfection – A Lesson from Health Care

Regina Berman cares about performance. It’s in her job title -- she’s the administrative director of performance improvement at the Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, New Jersey. Her experiences at Hackensack and those of other hospitals who are doing the same things have something to teach courts.

Improving Quality
Hackensack and Berman worked for seven years to improve quality and are at the leading edge of a nation-wide movement to reform health care that relies on performance measures. The hospital’s heart attack mortality rate is consistently about 2% lower than the national average, which ranges from 6% to 10%. Other hospitals want to know Hackensack’s secret, but Berman says it doesn’t have one. Hackensack has developed policies and procedures to ensure patients get the care that prevents harm and save lives as evidenced by performance data. Throughout the 781-bed hospital, staff monitor and analyze every process, looking for ways to save time and avoid erro…