In 2008, San Joaquin County HSA became the first county in California to implement Compass® Appointments and Compass® Appointments Kiosk for Medi-Cal (California’s Medicaid program), CalFresh (California’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), and Welfare to Work (CalWORKs) for many reasons. The agency could take advantage of scheduling functionality that was not available in largescale or consortium-based systems and the technical infrastructure was easy to manage and configure. Northwoods’ expertise in human services, specifically in eligibility, was also a big selling point.
To ensure clients are quickly routed to the right location within the agency, San Joaquin County HSA installed self-service kiosks in the lobby, allowing clients to check themselves in for scheduled or walk-in appointments. Two of the kiosks are dedicated to clients checking in for pre-scheduled appointments. Another kiosk solely allows clients to drop off documents without waiting in additional lines. The fourth kiosk is used for fingerprinting and Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT).
Once a client checks in, Compass Appointments sends an electronic notification to the caseworker. If the worker does not respond, an escalation process is activated. “The best part of Compass Appointments is that the client can check in and it sends a message to the worker. If that person never responds, that message can escalate to the appropriate people. The idea that the system escalates the client’s need without the client having to escalate it is probably one of the greatest benefits for us,” said Kevin Stamper, Intake Program Manager.
To further boost productivity, the agency created a no-show unit to handle clients who miss appointments. This enabled caseworkers to trade a CalFresh or CalWORKs no-show, which requires a face-to-face meeting, with a Medi-Cal case, which does not require face-to-face interaction. Caseworkers can still process cases without wasting an appointment slot. This flexibility helps ensure clients receive necessary benefits and the agency meets mandated compliance requirements and emergency timeframes.