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2014 WIC EBT Users Group. Implementing EBT & MIS Together Sylvia Mitchem Program Manager July 22, 2014. Getting back to the Mission of WIC. The Mission of WIC. Implementing eWIC & MIS together allows the state to “get back to the mission of WIC.”

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2014 wic ebt users group

2014 WIC EBT Users Group

Implementing EBT & MIS Together

Sylvia Mitchem

Program Manager

July 22, 2014

the mission of wic
The Mission of WIC
  • Implementing eWIC & MIS together allows the state to “get back to the mission of WIC.”
    • eWIC/MIS is inherently complex and stressful, but minimizes the extent of disruption
    • eWIC/MIS requires additional planning and consideration, but streamlines development, testing, training, pilot, rollout, and transition activities
    • eWIC/MIS requires strong partnerships and trust among team members, everyone is in the same boat paddling together

eWIC/MIS together is not easy, it requires a fearless team willing to take risks for the mission of WIC.

virginia crossroads ewic1
Virginia Crossroads/eWIC
  • The joint Crossroads/eWIC project was a new implementation on both sides.
  • Part of the original State Agency Model (SAM) Consortium of North Carolina, Alabama, Virginia, and West Virginia to develop a custom WIC MIS
  • Single MIS interface with two benefit Processors based on the Universal Interface
  • Required coordination among partners at each phase of the project
  • Virginia was the first state in the Consortium to implement Crossroads, and at the same time the state transitioned to online eWIC.
    • 160,000 participants
    • 800+ retail store locations
  • Virginia rolled out Crossroads and eWICstatewide in less than three months.
key considerations
Key Considerations
  • Combined test scripts must take care to cover all aspects impacting benefit issuance, management, and reconciliation.
    • Consider the impact of converted data
    • Validate the food prescription balance
    • Simulate redemption & reconciliation
  • eWIC/MIS changes many aspects of the WIC program, training should cover not only system changes, but program changes as well.
    • Review any changes to the food package
    • Provide staff with a fully functional training environment and a schedule of real-world exercises to perform leading up to go-live
  • If possible, have state staff perform the local agency training – see, do, teach!
key considerations1
Key Considerations
  • Clinics must be prepared for the real, not the ideal.
    • Do not assume roles will be analogous to the legacy systems/processes, act it out
    • Provide staff with reference materials for default packages, formula conversions, etc.
    • Review each benefit issuance, change, and void thoroughly
    • Develop a benefit issuance checklist
    • Define process/authorization for legacy system void & replacement
    • Communicate with your formula supplier, if applicable, to define contingency processes for issuance, replacement, and payment
  • Nutrition is the crux of the WIC program and of the systems that support it.
key considerations2
Key Considerations
  • The relationship between Vendor data in the eWIC system & MIS is complex.
    • Discuss vendor data conversion timeline with both contractors
    • Consider the MIS data conversion when scheduling live buys
    • Outline your retailer go-live guidelines and transition schedule
    • Determine how you will initially set NTEs, and define criteria for evaluation
    • Define information needed to respond to participant/retailer redemption issues
    • Identify a partner at the store willing to directly assist customers
  • Remember your legacy system data for reporting!
key considerations3
Key Considerations
  • Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.
    • Seek avenues for instant communication with staff
    • Ensure that you have sufficient SME and Help Desk resources
    • Provide on-site support within each district for the first week of rollout
    • Monitor end of day and batch processes
    • Consider inverting the Help Desk structure until things smooth out

For the WIC program, this is all just the beginning!

    • Don’t be afraid to use the functions and data available in new ways
    • Consider asking staff to submit proposals for program initiatives

Remember the systems were built for Mission of WIC!