Last updated: July 03. 2014 7:38AM - 329 Views
By - mmurphy@civitasmedia.com

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LAURINBURG — The latest in a round of electronic social services upgrades statewide was implemented in Scotland County last week, with a smooth transition period reported so far.

“It should not ideally, except in rare instances, take any longer than it took in the past,” Morgan Richardson, Scotland County Department of Social Services WIC program director, said of the new Crossroads system.

The electronic information system was designed by a four-state consortium including social services departments in Virginia, West Virginia, and Alabama and in North Carolina and will replace the state’s 30-year-old WIC Automated Data Processing System. The program will not change the application process for new or existing WIC clients, Richardson said, but with it all aspects of the WIC program, including clinic operations, benefit vouchers, appointment scheduling, and federal reporting, will be conducted electronically.

The program will also assist DSS staff in tracking clients’ self-reported nutritional habits and interventions taken to educate and help them adopt healthier habits.

“Basically we go through a list of questions for a nutritionist to interview the patient and we assess their nutritional status,” said Richardson.

“All of our WIC charting is going into the computer system now and will eventually become paperless. It is supposed to expedite the nutrition assessment timeframe and simplify how we do things so that we can provide better customer service.”

Though WIC staff is still referring back to paper charts while that information is being entered into the Crossroads system, Richardson said that the charts will eventually be discarded.

Scotland County, with some 1,750 families receiving benefits through WIC, is in the third group of DSS departments since May to adopt the Crossroads system. The system will continue to rollout throughout the state through the first week in October.

Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-276-2311, ext. 17. Follow her on Twitter @emkaylbg.

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