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Overview
Prior to using Atlas, Warwickshire’s Visiting Officers used the traditional method of paper based forms to collect Service User information and carry out financial assessments. These forms were lengthy and completed assessments needed to be returned back to the office. Warwickshire wished to adopt a more user friendly solution that would improve the overall efficiency of financial assessments.
Warwickshire’s requirement was for a portable financial assessment solution that could update the current system being used. It needed to allow the council to move the assessment process forward to reduce the amount of time ‘front-line’ staff spent on administration duties.
Additionally, appointment information was recorded manually in a spreadsheet and any changes to details about the client visit such as address, appointment time, and assessment type had to be communicated to Visiting Officers via telephone or email.
The use of paper forms also meant that visiting officers had to rely on static benefit rate information and their own knowledge to carry out a client’s financial assessment. Forms had to be completed by hand which was often time consuming and data would ultimately need to be ‘re-keyed’ into the back office system once the form was returned.

Solution
Warwickshire identified abacus eSolutions' Mobile Assessment module as being the solution to their issues. This module can be used on laptops and tablets and taken out by visiting officers to Service User’s homes. Atlas enables financial assessments to be completed there and then using up to date benefit information and all assessments can be downloaded to Abacus remotely via the internet.

Benefits
By implementing the Atlas Mobile Assessment solution Warwickshire were able to record appointment detail electronically; updating client information, assessment types and appointment details that Visiting Officers then download remotely ensuring they had the most up to date information at all times.
Visiting Officers also have instant access to all historic, current and future benefit rate information each time they connect to Atlas, thus ensuring all data is current and up to date when visiting a client. The facility to access future benefit data also provides the opportunity for multiple assessments to be carried out at one time enabling officers to demonstrate the impact of benefit increases on a client’s final assessment figure.
Atlas provides the potential for Visiting Officers to obtain the Service User's approval on site using the optional signature / acceptance feature or by printing off a physical copy of the form to sign. Completed assessments can then be uploaded remotely and securely each day which considerably reduced the time spent on administrative duties.
Implementing Atlas has seen Warwickshire enjoy much faster processing times as data is promptly received and does not have to be re-entered on receipt which now means the home visit process has vastly improved as front-line staff can now spend more time with clients, improving customer satisfaction.

Perceived benefits from Warwickshire:

  • Efficiencies made as a result of faster processing times.
  • Ease of information access for Visiting Officers and office based assessment staff.
  • Cost savings resulting from deploying Atlas to mobile workers including a reduction in paperwork, storage and disposal.
  • Visiting Officers do not need to keep returning to the office to view up to date diary information and upload assessments to Abacus, therefore they are able to increase the time available to spend with clients.

Final Word
"The implementation of Atlas was a significant step for the team with the aim of improving processes and achieving savings within financial assessments and charging. The introduction enabling our team to become more effective by reducing administration and duplication of work, bringing benefits to both the County Council and customers."
Darren McCafferty, Financial Information, Systems and Assessments Manager at Warwickshire County Council

If you would like to find out more about this functionality, please email bst@servelechsc.com or call 08448115081.

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