The Office of Warrior Care Policy (WCP) has recently expanded its online non-medical case management tracking system to several new user groups. These new partnerships bring the benefits of the automated, paperless system to an even wider variety of non-medical care professional supporting recovering Service members and their families.
For years, non-medical case managers such as Recovery Care Coordinators, Advocates and Non-Medical Care Managers were tied to a pen and paper system for capturing critical information about recovering Service members and families, including biographical data, needs assessments, goals and required resources. This paper system was both resource and time-intensive, taking case managers away from the true purpose of their job—to meet face-to-face with recovering Service members and families to assist them through the phases of recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration.
In 2010, WCP introduced the Recovery Coordination Program Support Solution (RCP-SS), an automated online non-medical case management tracking tool that allowed non-medical case managers to support recovering Service members across the continuum of care and through their return to duty or transition to civilian life without the cumbersome paper-based process. The online application was designed to allow cross Service and multiple support members to collaborate effectively and efficiently on all recovering Service member cases. WCP organized a working group of non-medical case managers who would be using the application to be the backbone of designing and maintaining the application.
The system, which currently has more than 400 users and is used to track more than 5,400 Service members, is a fully-secure, Common Access Card (CAC)-enabled site, hosted on a Department of Defense (DoD) network. The most critical component of the RCP-SS is the electronic comprehensive recovery plan, which allows non-medical case managers to identify and track a recovering Service member and family’s needs, as well as to identify goals and the resources required to meet those goals, all online.
To streamline the recovery plan process even further, over the last year RCP-SS completed a full integration with the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, known as DEERS. This online personnel database includes information for 42.5 million unique users, including active duty Service members, dependents and DoD civilians. This new connection allows RCP-SS to auto-populate information available in DEERS, including all the vital information necessary for providing effective and efficient support to Service members and families.
In addition to expanding the amount of information available in RCP-SS, the number of RCP-SS users has also recently been expanded.
For starters, the RCP-SS now supports the Marine Corps Military and Family Services Division, meaning all behavioral health non-medical case managers in the Marine Corps will now track cases using RCP-SS. The Marine Corps will manage its new users, including approving new accounts, while WCP manages and sustains the RCP-SS application and provides training and help desk support to all users.
Also, new to the RCP-SS is the support of the Defense Suicide Prevention Office (DSPO). At the initiation of this partnership, with DSPO assistance, RCP-SS was deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan. If a Service member calls the suicide prevention hotline while deployed overseas and provides enough personal information, a case file can be created and that Service member can be tracked through their deployment and once they return stateside. If, for example, a Service member with a case file existing in the system returns stateside and is assigned a Recovery Care Coordinator (RCC) or other non-medical case manager, the support provided to that Service member continues in a seamless manner, with all the critical information available in RCP-SS. Cases can be easily reassigned to new case managers within the system, and when a case is reassigned all the supporting documentation goes with it.
“So a Service member can start in Kabul, come to Walter Reed, transfer to Balboa and the case file goes with them but not a single piece of paper has to be sent,” said Jonathan Morris, Director of Operations for the Recovery Coordination Program at WCP. “This is the paperless solution people have been looking for for years.”
The RCP-SS also provides case managers with unique outreach capabilities to follow-up with a Service member after the initial call if enough information is captured to open a case file. Another case manager can also pick up the file if a Service member moves or is reassigned, helping to ensure that every Service member gets the help he or she needs.
“What we’re doing is creating a net under the Service member,” Mr. Morris said. “Whether it’s family support or financial assistance or mental health, we can help those Service members, their families and their caregivers.”