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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


Getting back to the mission of wic

Getting back to the Mission of WIC


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!