Washington 211 partnered with the Greater Columbia Accountable Communities of Health, in early 2020, on a project to improve the way Washington Residents search for health and human services on our website.

The Greater Columbia ACH’s mission is to advance the health of our population by decreasing health disparities, improving efficiency of health care delivery, and empowering individuals and communities through collaboration, innovation, and engagement. As part of their mission, GCACH identified that patients, service navigators and case managers in the local ACH region struggled to find available and appropriate services to meet the Social Determinant of Health needs in their communities.

By dialing the number 211, people in the state of Washington can receive live assistance in finding resources, but many people want the option to search on their own. Although WA211 has provided a search option for its resource database through its website, it offered limited functionality and results were not always accurate. Identifying a need, GCACH researched other online resource databases in the country to compare their features to WA211’s and developed a set of recommendations.

To assist WA211 in implementing the recommendations, GCACH provided a $40,000 grant to WA211 to
work with a local developer to build a new search application. In June of 2021, the first version of the
application was completed providing more advanced search options, expanded service mapping with
transportation options and a way for users to create an account to save, print and share their favorite
services.

The search app was created using the Human Services Data Standard and is available as an Open-Source application. This structure allows the application to be easily replicated, customized, and hosted on other websites. The search app will be continuously updated and improved through user feedback, which can be provided through the application page.

Washington 211 is grateful for their partnership with GCACH and their investment in improving the ability for all residents of Washington to connect to needed services.

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