North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Health District expands public's online tools

Community members can submit complaints or applications and view inspection reports related to the Snohomish Health District

 

December 6, 2017 | View PDF

The Snohomish Health District has expanded it's online tools which makes it easier for the public to do things like submit birth certificate orders, send complaints or view inspection reports.

Online tools are now available from the Snohomish Health District that allow easier ways to do things like submit birth certificate orders, send complaints or view inspection reports.

In an effort to streamline processes for the public and its employees, the local health district has been working with software since summer this year and has now begun to roll out those changes for local residents.

Many of the tools are available at snohomishonline.envisionconnect.com.

Currently, the public is able to view inspection reports for restaurants, public pools and spas, submit complaints related to food, garbage, sewage or other items, submit birth certificate orders and view any application statuses they have.

In the future more tools will also be available to submit death certificate orders, submit plan review applications for restaurants, submit temporary food booth applications and do a number of other business-related health items.

These features are scheduled to be rolled out in the following weeks.

The district is able to provide the tools thanks to new software known as Envision Connect Online.

"We went through a process a couple of years ago to get this software," said Heather Thomas, public and government affairs manager with the Snohomish Health District.

There was a soft rollout of some of the new features in November with the district publicly announcing them on Nov. 27.

"Before we even launched, people had found out about it," said Thomas. Feedback has been positive, she said.

Some businesses, such as septic designers, have to submit hundreds of permits each year to operate.

"A couple of the septic designers have told us they are very excited at the time they will save with this," said Thomas.

Before the software was implemented, much of the district's business was still done on paper.

"There were some online services before, but they were limited on the amount of information you could see," said Thomas.

For a inspection report on a restaurant, the process was still done on paper and some of that information was transferred online later.

Now the process is done completely by computer and the results of an inspection are uploaded much quicker, said Thomas, potentially immediately if the inspector has access to WiFi.

"With a lot of the other services we've never had the ability to access them online," said Thomas.

Birth certificate applications were usually done by mail or fax, she said. Now online tools exist for them.

"It really streamlines the whole process for the staff," said Thomas.

Thomas said that the new tools for the public will help improve transparency and allow greater access to records for those that want to see them.

"People are more able to look up health reports and file complaints," said Thomas. "Doing business with the Health District is now easier than ever," she said.

Some of the services, especially the tools relating to those who own a business facility, will require the creation of an account on the website.

Thomas said they welcome public comment on the new tools.

"If there is feedback from the public, we would love to hear it," she said. Those who have comments can send them to webquestions@snohd.org, she said.

 

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