CMA partnered with the State of Arizona to launch a new Health and Nutrition Delivery System (HANDS) application on June 9, 2014. This new system, currently piloting in several clinics across the state, will soon be released into full production. This EBT-Ready upgrade moves Arizona toward full EBT implementation within the next year and includes other noteworthy improvements, including a full appointment scheduling model, database optimization, and streamlined client certification flow.
The HANDS solution builds on CMA’s work on Arizona in Motion (AIM), which CMA helped implement in 2001. CMA’s relation with Arizona has been going on for some time. Here’s some history of our success.
The Initial Task
Between 1994 and 1997 the WIC population served in Arizona had grown by 23,000 participants, a full 25 percent, and the numbers were continuing to grow. Arizona entrusted CMA with creating their new system. They wanted the system to:
- Reduce paperwork.
- Improve services to WIC clients.
- Improve client flow and processing.
- Improve staff morale while boosting productivity.
- Reduce problems related to current batch operations.
- Provide flexibility in software changes.
- Enhance fiscal accountability.
- Respond to current and pending Federal and State reporting requirements.
How CMA Made the Difference
CMA set to work. The fully-integrated system design revolved around USDA mandates and requirements and included such enhancements as automated growth charts, participant care plans, online SOAP (Subjective Objective Assessment Plan) notes, a food package matrix, food instrument production options, USDA financial and caseload reports, and over 80 vendor risk analysis and compliance reports to detect fraud.
Throughout the project CMA kept Arizona well-informed, and by August 2001, the last of the Arizona counties had gone live with the Arizona in Motion system. The extremely successful implementation entailed installation of Local Area Networks in 80 permanent clinics, T1 line installations to twenty county sites, the acquisition and deployment of approximately 530 PCs (desktops and laptops), 189 Food Instrument MICR Printers, 20 data base servers, and numerous data communications devices. Over 475 staff members were successfully trained, and the data for 128,000 active clients successfully converted.
The Arizona in Motion solution developed by CMA is one of only four solutions nation-wide that are 100% USDA FReD-compliant. Because the system was designed for easy maintenance, Arizona’s operational costs for contractor maintenance were reduced by 30%. WIC staff overtime costs were reduced by as much as 88%. Within five months of the final implementation, voided food instruments were reduced from 24% to 3%. Local agency WIC Directors and WIC clients have reported substantial improvements in the timeliness of service delivery; the time that was spent handling mountains of paperwork is now used to counsel pregnant women and mothers in healthy nutrition.
In 2002, the project received the Arizona Governor’s Spirit of Excellence award, an award program charged with recognizing State agencies that employ innovative operational solutions resulting in improved customer service, increased productivity, and/or decreased costs for State government.