Despite the national impact of a global pandemic, we have seen a positive trend in growth and impact in our statewide network in North Carolina, NCCARE360.
Facing COVID-19, the NCCARE360 team quickly responded to calls from community-based organizations to expedite onboarding and devised a plan to rapidly accelerate the growth of the network. NCCARE360 has now reached 100 counties six months ahead of schedule to ensure that every North Carolinian has access to critical social services during a time of crisis.
Not only did our team hit that milestone, but we are now looking at data that has indicated a positive trend in network growth, but more importantly, network impact.
Measuring network performance
Our team analyzes data from the moment of network launch and onwards to optimize the network and software for users. Our Community Engagement Managers and Network Health Managers work hand in hand with partners to ensure network coverage and impact.
“At Unite Us, the data we work with reflects more than just numbers—these are real people. Every metric represents a specific action a user took in the software. We seek to understand that action so we know where to replicate, and where to make adjustments,” notes Kristena Armwood, Network Health Manager for the NCCARE360 network. “Instead of ‘How is the network doing?’, we dive deeper to ask, ‘How are our network partners interacting with the platform?’ We are here to remove any barriers preventing partners from successfully using the software, and helping connect people to services. Of course, the data is only one piece. Our outreach to listen to users' needs provides invaluable insight that numbers alone simply can’t tell.”
Three positive trends from NCCARE360:
1. Growth of providers and service types
As a network evolves from launch to maturity, our team works tirelessly with partners to create a dense ecosystem of culturally relevant network partners representing the community’s breadth of needs. In North Carolina, we can see that from the initial launch in March 2019 to today, there has been a steady increase of organizations representing diverse service types month over month. As more organizations onboard with programs offering varied services, the community will see more needs being met.
2. Time to case closure
Connecting individuals to the help they need is our guiding principle. Getting them that help sooner and without telling their story multiple times to multiple providers is each network’s goal. Monitoring time to case closure gives us a view of our progress on this measure. Time to case closure is the time it takes one referral to be accepted and then resolved or closed for another reason with a specific structured outcome. Across North Carolina, we continue to decrease days to case closure. The graph below also highlights cases where COVID, corona, sars, virus or pandemic were an element of the underlying service need. Despite the increase in service episodes across the network with COVID mentions, time to case closure has continued on a downward trend to around one day.
3. Growth in total number of cases
“[Using NCCARE360] I found community providers that I didn’t even know existed. I even partnered with two new practices where I now go and provide WIC services to their patients, so I’m reaching new people. This is long overdue, and I love it!”
-Nicole Alston, Director of WIC, Alamance County
Growth in the total number of cases is evidence of healthy adoption of the Unite Us Platform by our network partners as well as better referrals within the network, getting individuals the help they need more efficiently. From launching in three counties in March 2019 to becoming live statewide, the network’s footprint and impact continues to grow as more community members are served. We monitor this by not only watching growth in total number of cases but also case resolution.
Looking to the future
NCCARE360 stands as a model for pandemic preparedness. The investments made by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation to establish a statewide coordinated care network are proving to be a powerful tool in their pandemic response toolbox. Hitting the accelerator on this initiative when COVID-19 hit was a strategic decision that is now paying dividends. These three trends demonstrate this network’s success and the benefits of state governments’ investment in addressing social care.
To learn more about our national networks, click here.
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