University of Pittsburgh: Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center
GDC Adds Room Reservations to Expand Bridge, an Enterprise Management System
3 Min Read
Industry: Education, Government
Size/Reach: 67 Pennsylvania Counties
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
The Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center (PACWRC) is a collaborative effort of the University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, and the Pennsylvania Children and Youth Administrators. It was established to train direct service workers, supervisors, administrators, and foster parents in providing social services to abused and neglected children and their families. PACWRC is centrally managed and regionally administered by the University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work.
PACWRC sought GDC’s expertise and knowledge to add room reservation scheduling and administration workflow functionality under an ongoing support contract after the initial development of Bridge was released into production in January 2021. With several conference and simulation rooms in multiple locations across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, PACWRC requested adding a new module in the current Bridge web application to reserve rooms, designate room set up, and assign equipment that is available at each location. The main goal was to have Bridge manage all aspects of scheduling from booking to cancellations to conflict resolution within the existing workshop workflow. Thus, allowing administrators to create a workshop and book room(s) simultaneously.
Development for this project started in October 2020.
GDC designed and developed a room reservations module in Bridge that allows administrators to book conference and scenario simulation rooms at PACWRC locations. Conference rooms may be in one or more buildings across the commonwealth. Simulation rooms are closely tied with various workshop courses. For instance, a course may be devoted to the proper handling of a scenario involving child abuse or neglect and requires an associated workshop to take place at a location where this can be simulated. With the enhanced room reservation functionality, both can be scheduled independently or in conjunction with a workshop. A three-step workflow was created to independently reserve rooms, establish room set up, and assign available equipment. The existing workflows were altered to allow rooms to be reserved at the same time the workshop is scheduled. A new role was created for a subset of users. Any user designated as an approved vendor within their agency may request to reserve a room. New administrative tools were added to manage a list of rooms and their locations, along with a list of equipment assigned to each room.
Finally, a new React single page application (SPA) user interface was designed; new endpoints were added to the existing REST API; new and improved business logic created; and new data tables were added to the SQL Server database to support the enhancements.
Due to the familiarity with underlying Bridge architecture and established working relationship with PACWRC, there were no communication gaps understanding the new system requirements and/or fulfillment processes. GDC expedited the project schedule and streamlined the project budget needed to add the room reservations modules.
By adding room reservations within the Bridge web application, PACWRC is no longer dependent on using a disparate Outlook calendar. With the module enhancements, Administrators and approved vendors can view a room reservations calendar that has day, weekly, monthly, and quarterly views to provide an over-arching snapshot of their schedules. Each calendar listing provides key information about the workshop with the ability to manage details for the workshop based on their respective user role in the system.
Administrators can reserve rooms, designate a room set up, and assign equipment available at the workshop location within the application. Additionally, workshops are flagged if a course requires a simulation room. If the chosen location for a workshop has room availability, it may be reserved while scheduling the workshop.
With an experienced and knowledgeable application services team, GDC completed this project within eight months. The room reservation modules were released into production in June of 2022 and GDC continues to support the application.
Upon the success of Bridge, we wanted to add additional functionality of a Room Reservations module. It was an obvious choice to utilize GDC for further development of the system. We are now able to reserve a room while simultaneously scheduling a workshop. Working with GDC on this project has enhanced our working relationship.