The daunting impact of case overload
U.S. social workers handle more than 2x the recommended number of caseloads
On average, caseworkers spend only 18% of their day with children and families
Caseworkers spend more than 33% of their time dealing with documentation
By improving data management, caseworkers are able to increase and improve their interactions with the people who matter most.
IBM Watson Health Mobile solutions are empowering caseworkers by placing the tools they need at their fingertips. With real-time accessibility to case files and the ability for dynamic updates, the mobile app is revolutionizing the visitation process.
Pushing for progress
Any number of HHS professionals will tell you: Case management at its core is about setting people up for success by connecting them with the services (and service providers) that can help them achieve desired outcomes. A number of factors make this challenge easier. As clinical addiction specialist Michelle Guerin explains, mindset is chief among them.
"I don’t know why I’ve been given this skill. I guess to say this gift, but why I do it is I don’t like to see people struggle. I don’t think it’s fair. I’ve been blessed in the family I grew up in. We had our hardships, but we came out strong. And I think everybody deserves to have that, and I was never judged because of the history of my family members. And I don’t ever want to see that with anybody else. I think it’s important that we as a society help each other and not fight against each other."
Along with the right frame of mind, cutting edge mobile and cognitive solutions empower leaders in the field by enabling them to explore new possibilities, then work collaboratively and confidently to bring those realities to life.
Dealing with the data explosion
As little as 20% of a caseworker’s day involves face-to-face interaction—because up to 50% is consumed by administrative tasks.
Giving power to the people
Analytics tools enable HHS organizations to extract deeper, actionable insights from their data, creating real-world use cases that can extend globally across the HHS landscape.
Fighting Medicaid fraud is an ongoing battle. To get ahead of the problem, Iowa Medicaid Enterprise uses specialized algorithms and predictive analytics from Watson Health to proactively identify everything from elaborate billing schemes to honest human errors. Employees have greater visibility into their operations because they have richer, more accurate information that wasn’t previously at their disposal.
Cognitive-powered social services tools present extraordinary opportunities to significantly improve the lives of vulnerable children. With the ability to ingest and understand large data sets in real time, these tools can identify plans that proved successful for children with similar experiences.
- In California, Aspiranet uses natural language inquiry of unstructured data to help 22,000 children transition from foster care to living on their own.
- Cognitive technology is helping professionals more accurately assess, plan for, and personalize support for substance abuse.
- Pilot programs in Italy and the U.S. are combining cognitive technology with the Internet of Things (IoT) to create smart homes that allow the elderly to continue living on their own.
An eye toward the future
When you provide passionate people with the right tools to do their jobs, positive change is possible. We asked Daniel Braun about his dreams for the social worker ecosystem. Here’s what he had to say:
Working worldwide toward a common goal
Designed to offer every individual full lifecycle support from needs to outcomes, IBM Watson Health solutions enable providers to collaborate more effectively to help people achieve the results they need.
Creating a truly connected and confidential culture
It’s one thing to talk about working in a collaborative culture that doesn’t sacrifice the privacy of clients, it’s quite another to have access to tools that enable you to execute on that vision. If healthcare navigator Emily Rhyne had one wish, here is how she’d use it:
"I think having a system to share confidential information more easily could be helpful, especially between clients because, for the most part, I have to require clients to come in, in person and sit down with me. I am not supposed to retain documentation and I definitely want to be really careful about what kind of documents or information I send by email. The reality is for a lot of clients, email may be the easiest way for them to communicate, or by text, or FAX, or whatever. Not being able to send that kind of stuff electronically to people is tricky. I think it can become a burden to the client having to come into my office every time we need to do any little thing. Yeah, I definitely think having better technology for information sharing would be helpful."
Extending a helping hand
Despite the challenges their jobs often present, the world’s dedicated HHS professionals continue to do what they can—with what they have. Tini Zainuden, a child activist in Malaysia, explains why.
"I think the human spirit is something that is so precious and so wonderful. And what you need to care for and potentially protect. Because that’s what’s going to drive a person … to make believers out of disbelievers … That’s why I do the work I do because there are successes and because the human spirit is strong"
We need to ensure that our society, our community, our country is strong. That’s why we do social work. That’s why it’s important.
The World Health Organization describes health as being “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely an absence of disease or infirmity.”
With Watson Health, HHS professionals around the world are better equipped than ever to offer a helping hand to anyone who needs it.
IBM Watson Health Solutions for Health and Human Services