The goal of health and human services agencies has always been to help recipients move toward self-sufficiency. But the eligibility and enrollment (E&E) processes for vital programs are often fragmented and complicated. In fact, it sometimes seems that we put the highest burden of trying to interact with these programs on the people least empowered to do so.
Today, however, agencies have access to more powerful technology than ever before. So how can you use this technology to enable the journey to self-sufficiency? At Gainwell Technologies, we like to look at this journey as it progresses along three dimensions, or the Three Es: Experience, efficiency and effectiveness.
Today, most recipients of public services must visit multiple offices, fill out complex applications and go through frustrating processes to enroll. What if they could easily follow one simplified process to get the help they need?
The first step of the journey to self-sufficiency, then, is creating a seamless experience. And that requires meeting recipients where they are. Their method of communication shouldn’t matter, whether it’s a phone, the internet or an in-person visit to an office. Remember, this might be the only means of contact they have. It also shouldn’t matter whether that person has an immediate medical need or whether some time has passed, and they have come back for assistance in finding housing. They should be able to access services in a way that works best for them, without struggling through barriers along the way.
This seamless experience should apply not just to recipients, but also to all public health and human services stakeholders, from your employees to the providers and agencies you collaborate with. Ensuring everyone has the tools they need to see — really see — the needs of recipients across programs, channels and times is critical.
So, how do you make that possible? The answer is through a whole person view. This should involve not only a suite of seamless E&E solutions, but also the analytics capabilities to put the needs and experiences of the whole person at the center of everything you do.
This happens through data liquidity: In other words, using the power of integrated and interconnected data to easily connect your recipients with services. This means using that integrated data in a way that preserves the individual’s privacy; ensures that services are provided in a compliant manner; and, most importantly, empowers the individual.
One way to look at efficiency is to think about how you can help your employees be more productive. Equally important, however, is empowering them to work in a manner that is satisfying and rewarding.
Many of us enter this line of work because we want to help people. But in reality, we often spend more time merely processing and complying. Removing technological barriers will help employees focus on what’s truly important.
So how do we bring about this type of efficiency? For one thing, an automated and flexible workflow gives employees the power to do their jobs, without wasting time on workarounds. Providing up-to-date rules through modern solutions enables timely and accurate processing. And, once again, comprehensive, high-quality data is absolutely essential.
As part of our Whole Person Service, Gainwell is developing a new breed of case management tool that speeds efficiency by not just providing a holistic view of an individual, but also considering the family situation. After all, it is the family that provides immediate social support for that person, and we need to understand the fundamental needs and barriers of the household. With this type of visibility, it is possible, for example, to create a holistic improvement program with actionable next steps towards self-sufficiency.
Once you understand your recipients’ needs and barriers, and provide an appropriate set of services, you can evaluate the effectiveness of those services and how well providers are delivering them. Effectiveness can be viewed under the umbrella of outcomes, whether they are health outcomes or self-sufficiency outcomes.
We’ve already talked about the importance of visibility at the whole person and whole family level. But through the power of integrated and connected data, we also aim to provide that kind of visibility into the whole community, as well.
Data can reveal which set of needs have been identified at the community level, the service capacity you have to address them and how effectively those services are performing in your community. Increased visibility not only helps you measure results, but also plan more effectively for the future.
Guiding toward upward mobility
The journey to self-sufficiency is indeed a journey. But by focusing on the experience, efficiency and effectiveness of each step, you can empower individuals to more easily engage with the services they need to embark on a healthier, more rewarding way of life.
View our webinar. Interested in learning more? Check out “Whole Person Care: An Integrated Approach to Self-Sufficiency” featuring Jung Kim, PhD, director of product development, and Dr. Gary Call, MD, chief medical officer for Gainwell Technologies.