Press release

Florida Division of Emergency Management Wins Innovation Award for Digitally Tracking 850,000 Staff Hours at COVID-19 Vaccination Sites With Technology Partner Merit

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The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) has used California-based technology firm Merit’s digital verified identity platform to track nearly 850,000 professional hours across more than 100 state-run COVID-19 vaccination and testing sites since January. As a result of the Division’s technology-forward approach to disaster response and mitigation, and specifically in recognition of these digital time-tracking procedures, FDEM has been named a StateScoop 50 Award winner in the State IT Innovation of the Year category. FDEM Director Guthrie was also nominated in the Golden Gov category alongside state CIOs and Governors for leading state government into a new technology landscape.

FDEM and Merit estimate that by the end of June, nearly one million staff hours will be digitally accounted for. This statewide use of a digital system with real-time reporting signals an end to the reliance on physical timesheets and state-resource-consuming processes to account for hours worked.

“In partnership with Merit, the Division is leveraging technology to get real-time, verified data about staff working at sites across the state. By implementing innovative technology in the state’s COVID-19 response, the state is streamlining processes and improving future disaster responses. We look forward to continuing this progress and are honored to be recognized for our work in IT innovation,” said FDEM Director Kevin Guthrie.

“Responding to a statewide emergency involves many moving parts, and being able to utilize Merit’s digital verified identity platform to keep track of when and where our medical professionals are coming and going has greatly improved efficiency and accuracy in our statewide vaccination efforts. We appreciate this great partnership bridging the public-private divide to better serve Floridians.”

In addition to the time-tracking service, FDEM has also relied on Merit for other aspects of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts, including the statewide outreach, registration, and verification of over 3,000 volunteer medical professionals. This effort has given emergency directors in the 67 Florida counties access to lists of verified licensed individuals who are ready and willing to volunteer at vaccination and testing sites across the state. FDEM also tasked Merit with the outreach, registration, scheduling, and phone support for a vaccination clinic in Collier and Hendry Counties, specifically helping vaccinate individuals from the counties’ more vulnerable populations.

“This public health emergency warrants special measures designed to support FDEM’s ongoing response efforts, and Merit is 100% committed to continuing to provide efficient and trustworthy technology solutions to help reduce the burden to the state as they manage this unprecedented endeavor,” said Merit CEO Tomer Kagan. “We look forward to offering ever-growing support to FDEM as they continue their excellent response and mitigation efforts.”

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About Merit

Merit’s verified identity platform brings visibility, liquidity, and trust to people-data, giving organizations the clarity to make better-informed decisions, engage with individuals effectively, and pursue their mission efficiently. Merit works with trusted private, state, and municipal organizations to solve critical real-world problems in sectors such as workforce development, emergency services, licensing, education, and defense readiness. The COVID-19 crisis has transformed workforce development and emergency services, requiring states and municipalities to innovate and streamline critical services, such as reemployment and COVID-19 vaccination programs, using solutions like Merit. Find out more at