From The Desk of Chris Blinn: Hillsborough County Mosquito Control
In the early summer months of 2016, there was a steady stream of reports regarding the dangers from Zika. Week by week we saw updates of trouble areas, who’s at risk, and what work was being done to create a vaccination. Our fears quickly escalated once the first case of local transmission was reported. It seemed to make the risk more real for many. This includes local governments with vector control programs geared to prevent infections from spreading.
Recently, I spent some time at the Mosquito Control center in Hillsborough County, Florida. Our mission was to deploy the Outbreak, Surveillance, and Control (OSC) Jumpstart. The OSC Jumpstart is a focused rollout of ArcGIS Online solutions to streamline current workflows that vector control departments have in place. Overall, the goal was simple – make the mosquito control group more effective so that they can work to prevent the spread of vector-borne diseases. The OSC Jumpstart, much like other Jumpstart programs we offer at GISinc, focuses on delivering a “Quick Win”, and a foundation for growth. For Hillsborough County Mosquito Control, the quick win was more than one solution, but an implementation of the Esri templates for mosquito control. These templates are focused on different workflows within mosquito control, and off the shelf they are a good first step to improving efficiency.
After an initial review of the applications, we identified some areas where current Mosquito Control workflows were not supported, and details were left out between the templates and Mosquito Control. From these gaps, we created additional solutions to improve data collection for different inspections, and setup dashboards to improve transparency and data sharing between people and other departments. At the end of the week, 20 applications supporting 10 solutions and workflows were implemented for the Mosquito Control.
Solutions for field crews, administration, and operations were put in place, and the relationship between each solution was clearly defined. In just one week, paper-driven inspections were completely migrated to digital forms in Collector for ArcGIS, metrics were automatically displayed on Operations Dashboards to show usage of chemicals for treatments, planning applications allowed operations personnel to oversee what areas their trucks needed to spray each night using Web AppBuilder, and every solution, field, and piece of information was readily available by using ArcGIS Online to store and manage all items. Now Hillsborough County Mosquito Control has the tools to be efficient, and provide a service to their citizens that helps reduce the risk for Zika and other vector-borne diseases.