Wisconsin Community Services, Inc. (WCS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency that provides a variety of services in southeastern Wisconsin. WCS has been serving many of Milwaukee’s most disenfranchised and highest-risk residents for more than 100 years. When the organization was founded as the Wisconsin Society for the Friendless in 1912, the mission was solely to help people who were incarcerated and assist the families left behind. The organization has evolved through the years, changing its name and expanding populations served as a response to growing community needs, but the spirit of being a "Friend of the Friendless” remains in the agency’s mission today.
With more than 260 employees and over 35 different programs in three service divisions, WCS serves more than 16,000 people each year. One of the service divisions of WCS is the Behavioral Health Services Division which assists individuals who are in need of treatment due to their severe and persistent mental illness. The WCS Outpatient Mental Health Clinic provides individuals with mental health treatment along with important ancillary services including medication monitoring, housing assistance, benefit acquisition and an on-site pharmacy.
Through an SVA Consulting (SVAC) meeting process called STAR (Strategic Technology Alignment Review), it was discovered that the Outpatient Mental Health Clinic serves over 500 clients on a daily basis. All medications and daily funds (individual’s social security and disability dollars) were distributed manually - case managers carried bags, wrote out paper receipts that needed to be turned in daily, and then keyed in manually into spreadsheets. WCS recognized they could no longer operate effectively, nor be compliant under these dated manual practices, and looked to SVAC to create efficiencies, ensure confidentiality, strengthen internal controls, and improve reporting. SVA Consulting created one centralized technology system that could do all that plus, as part of the system, they provided the technology to make iPads useable by the Clinic’s case managers. The employees could now distribute funds and capture a client’s signature digitally while integrating tracking via secured screens for each individual client. In the first six months, nearly 30,000 transactions were not touched by a human hand. They are now processed through the system, reconciled immediately, and have saved WCS over 1,200 hours of manual labor.