The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has invited Barry County Health Department environmental public health specialist Jan Cox to participate in a pilot inspection program.
Through the program, Cox will be required to complete digital inspection forms, which will be uploaded to the state health department each week throughout the next year.
"Instead of using the old paper and pen carbon copy forms, I am inputting the information into a digital tablet," said Cox. "The state department provided us with the tablet, a nice carrying case and a wireless computer."
Cox uses the digital tablet to complete food service, lodging and childcare inspections. The system allows business owners to digitally sign inspection forms and also includes a printer, which gives Cox the opportunity to print copies for the state, the local health department and the business owner.
"The pilot program is designed to see if it is feasible for the state to use a digital system in the future," said Cox. "The purpose of the program is to identify problems with the software and make suggestions. This is a great opportunity for us to help the state."
Although the local health department receives copies of the digital inspection forms, Cox must also complete the standard paper inspection forms, which continue to be required by the local health department.
"Even though it is a little bit more work, this program is giving us a free opportunity to see if this is something we might want to move toward in the future," said Cox. "We also are getting the added benefit of having the opportunity to work with this system at no cost."
Through the program, Cox is required to e-mail suggestions and problems to the