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Preparedness is a game-changer whenever uncertainty strikes. The County of Los Angeles faced such uncertainly when the pandemic hit and it had to quickly become more nimble and look at things differently.

Automation helped fill the void, especially in the County’s healthcare sector, according to David Cardenas (pictured), deputy director of operations at the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health.

“We’re 10 million people with, you know, hundreds of square miles inside of LA,” he stated. “The holy grail for us in healthcare has always been, at least on the public health side, to try to see how can we tap in more actively so that when you go see the doctor or when you go to the hospital, you can get access to that information very quickly. Our focus for all our technology implementations … is around how to gather that information more quickly and put that into action so we can do quick interventions.”

Cardenas spoke with theCUBE industry analysts Dave Vellante and David Nicholson at UiPath Forward, during an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. They discussed how the pandemic necessitated automation within the County of Los Angeles for heightened public health. (* Disclosure below.)

Making automation innovations permanent

Exhaustion in organizations coupled with uncertainties like the pandemic has accelerated the automation narrative. And the County has worked with UiPath to strengthen its technology in this area. As a result, the County of LA has created a better foundation to continuing moving in the right direction, according to Cardenas.

“How do we now make the changes that we made in response to the pandemic permanent so that the next time this comes we won’t have to be struggling,” he said. “If we’re not prepared for that, we’re not going to be able to respond and preserve the health and safety of our citizens.”

Based on the anthrax and bioterrorism attacks that emerged after 9/11, Cardenas believes more funding was channeled toward public health because it was under the lens. And, now, this sector is being revamped in the post-pandemic era.

“We had a huge infusion of funding; a lot of support from stakeholders, both politically and within the healthcare system,” he pointed out. “We were able to make some large steps in movement at that point. This feels the same but in a larger scale, because now it touched every part of the infrastructure.”

The County is riding on the wave of pandemic-induced solutions, which has been instrumental in eliminating friction in healthcare, according to Cardenas.

“The healthcare system in LA was working very closely with us to make sure that we were responding,” he said. “There is that wave that we are trying to make sure that we use this as an opportunity to kind of ride it so that we can implement all the things that we want.”

By using cutting-edge technologies like automation, Cardenas believes the County of Los Angeles is able to pinpoint disease outbreaks, adding that this has made the public health sector more efficient.

“There are places where we can see specific targets, but the data’s a little stale and we find out several months after,” he said. “Technology’s going to be our path to be able to capture that information more actively. So I can see and surveil my entire county in my jurisdiction and know, oh, there’s an outbreak of disease happening in this section of the county.”

Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the UiPath Forward event:

(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for the UiPath Forward event. Neither UiPath Inc., the sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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