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Written by: Deb Petty on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 Posted in: 2-1-1, Housing & Community Services

National I&R Day: A day to be thankful…and to look ahead

 

In 2011 the U.S. Senate declared November 16th as “National Information and Referral Services Day,” to raise public awareness of this important service available to all people in the United States. Every day, tens of thousands of people find the help they need from the heroes who provide I&R services.

Today is a day to be thankful…but there is still much to do.

Some of the most at-risk members of our community still can’t get the help they need. So whether you run an I&R, you fund one, are a provider that takes referrals, or you develop technologies for I&R like Mediware, here are three challenges that all of us in the industry must come together to meet:

1. Make it easier for agencies to collaborate

Here at Mediware we are exploring a host of options that will help make systems more interoperable and allow every agency in a community to share data effectively. We believe this is essential to achieve the goal of person-centered care.

2. Overcome literacy and language obstacles

Web-based options are bringing information and referral data to many more clients and caregivers. We need to expand those benefits even further with newer, user-friendly layouts and innovations like icon-based, guided-path searches that reduce the need for reading and web skills.

3. Track outcomes with greater precision

As our industry grows more sophisticated in the ways we track and measure outcomes, we need to find new ways to apply that data to identify the service(s) that will achieve the best results for the individual based on their needs.

We are proud to have helped pioneer I&R software over 15 years ago and look forward to continuing its evolution. And we are both honored and thankful to work alongside so many I&R providers that use our ServicePoint, CommunityPoint and IRis systems.

 

November 16 – #IandRDay