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Whole-Person Care for Kids and Families During a Pandemic

Children’s Wisconsin goes live with integrated health and social care in Epic

A child’s home and social environment have a major impact on lifelong health. Children’s Wisconsin addresses social needs and helps to establish a supportive environment for kids by providing services like health coaching for expectant moms and home visits for kids in foster care across the state. In May, CW finished installing Epic’s Coordinated Care Management application so social workers have a more complete picture of the factors that affect kids’ health – such as whether they have enough food, stable housing, and a supportive family environment.

More than 150 social workers at CW check in with kids regularly, including where they live, such as in foster care – though since the onset of the pandemic these check-ins have primarily taken place over video. When staff meet with families in person, they can take notes during the visit with Epic’s mobile app, Rover.

During the appointment, social workers check in on clients’ overall well-being, such as their access to food. They also support the family in understanding a child’s development and related needs, as well as ways to create a positive home environment. Using Rover, social workers can enroll families in programs such as rent assistance. The social care visits become part of each person’s health record and can be viewed by case managers.

CW decided to go live on schedule despite COVID-19 so providers could better track social factors that impact health and coordinate care for clients and families who might need extra support during the pandemic. CW is also looking forward to further benefits from MyChart and Epic’s self-service reporting tool, SlicerDicer.

“Our case workers do vital work with children and families across the state of Wisconsin,” said Rhonda Ackerman, Children’s director of quality for community services. “We felt it was important to move forward with this project during the COVID-19 pandemic so that we can better respond to the growing needs of the children, families and communities we serve.”

Epic community members can learn more about setting up coordinated care management programs using Epic on the UserWeb.