RDA's Organization

Office of Data Analysis (ODA) supports analyses of client counts, caseloads, expenditures and use rates within and between DSHS services and programs. The section typically draws data from automated databases across the agency and produces cross-program analysis. Typical tasks include:

  • Designing and building a monthly database of unduplicated DSHS clients, their services and the direct costs associated with providing those services (the Client Services Data Base), and using that database to compile standard reports and answer one-time questions about the services used by DSHS clients.
  • Maintaining a database of historical DSHS performance measures, budget drivers, and diversity monitoring (called the Historical Indicators of Performance System-HIPS). This database is used to report performance and budget targets to top agency managers, the governor and legislators.
  • Conducting surveys of DSHS clients, employees and providers to gather data for the agency's performance measurement, quality improvement and strategic planning processes
  • Maintaining the Client Registry, a daily database showing which DSHS offices are working with our clients. DSHS Staff across the agency use the Client Registry to coordinate services for shared clients. Maintaining the Expedited Medical Determination Website, used by City and County Jails and the Department of Corrections to research medical benefits for inmates pending release. Designing and building the Pathways to Employment Internet site to assist people with disabilities make informed decisions about entering or returning to the workforce.
  • Developing and using geographical information system (GIS) capability, which facilitates geographic analyses and maps for such areas as counties, cities, service catchment areas and school districts.
  • Developing and submitting required quarterly federal reports on the TANF program, as well as other required state and federal reports on economic and medical assistance.
  • Designing and building analytic research databases for selected DSHS programs.

The Program Research and Evaluation Section (PRES) develops, initiates and supervises research and evaluation activities designed to meet the needs of agency decision-makers. PRES projects often cluster around the following topics: (1) assessing service or prevention need, comparing need with usage, and analyzing service gaps and overlaps; (2) analyzing the cost savings to public agencies which occur after a client receives services; and (3) characterizing the clients served by particular program services or service combinations.

Information on current PRES projects »

PRES has three long-standing analytic sub-units:

  • The First Steps Database, which combines information about women who have given birth and their young children from a number of separate computerized information systems; and uses the data to report on health outcomes for mothers and their young children.
  • the Child Care Research and Analysis unit (CCRA), which collects direct survey information on child care providers and collects data from various automated databases about the children in DSHS subsidized child care.
  • The Community Outcome and Risk Evaluation Geographic Information System (CORE-GIS), collects information from 57 different source systems across state government by small geographic area (ZIP codes or census blocks if possible) and assembles them into a single system which produces county and state reports on risk and protective factors to support prevention of youth substance abuse and other problem behavior.

Human Research Review Section (HRRS) provides administrative and staff support to the Washington State Institutional Review Board (WSIRB), which serves as the institutional review board for the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), Department of Health (DOH), and Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). WSIRB review s all human subjects research conducted within DSHS, DOH, and L&I jurisdiction for compliance with applicable statutes, regulations, and policies related to the protection of human research subjects. The review is intended to protect the rights, welfare and safety of research subjects, and to ensure that the research is sound and likely to produce benefits which are greater than the risks to subjects. The Washington State Institutional Review Board operates under the authority of a Federalwide Assurance with the federal Department of Health and Human Services.

The Office of Performance Metrics (OPM) which includes the Management Information and Survey Research (MISR) unit, provides a variety of services to improve DSHS accountability and performance, including:

  • Conducting surveys of DSHS clients, employees and providers
  • Consulting on how to develop effective measures of program performance
  • Gathering, publishing and reporting data about agency performance
  • Coordinating the agency’s strategic planning processes.