One is a nonprofit social services organization in the Midwest. The other is a state human services agency in the Southwest. Though separated by more than a thousand miles, they share a commitment to human-centered design.
In fact, it was groundbreaking work by Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI) that sparked the New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) to embrace the approach. Tim Sheehan of LSSI shares some of the results achieved and Sean Pearson explains how the New Mexico HSD is working to reimagine how it engages with vulnerable individuals and families.
Dispatches from the Care Journey
In a typical year, LSSI supports some 70,000 of the state's most vulnerable residents through programs for children and seniors, as well as individuals with mental illness and developmental disabilities and those who were formerly incarcerated. In 2015, LSSI collaborated with Fjord, Accenture Interactive's design and innovation group, on a service design project aimed at reshaping how caseworkers engage with the people LSSI serves. The result of that work--the Whole Person Care Journey--provided a game-changing model for coordinating care within LSSI and across its network of 190 partner organizations.
Since 2016, the Whole Person Care Journey model has taken root within the organization, says Tim Sheehan, vice president of Home and Community Services. The model has had an impact on culture and mindset as well as specific business processes related to the care of individuals with mental health and substance abuse issues. For example, the Whole Person Care Journey has become the organizing principle for how LSSI trains staff and how it bills for services. The model also was pivotal to the selection and implementation of Simply Connect as LSSI's private Health Information Exchange.
"When you think about a care journey, you create a network and systems of care," Sheehan says. "Inside of that, you want the ability for individuals to share their information with family, staff, and medical providers."
LSSI is currently running two extended pilots using Simply Connect to support behavioral health services, and Sheehan says they continue to explore ways the technology can improve the care journey. So far, one of the most valuable features of Simply
Connect is the ability to send timely alerts to everyone in a person's care coordination circle when the individual fails to fill a prescription.
Beyond the technology, Sheehan said the Whole Person Care...