The Vocational Rehabilitation Quality Assurance (VR QA) Project is been implemented by the Center for Capacity Building on Minorities with Disabilities Research (CCBMDR) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Its purpose is to implement a strategy with the Illinois Division of Rehabilitation Services (IDRS) to promote data utilization by office supervisors to improve case management and the effectiveness and efficiency of vocational counselors.
Within IDRS, the state program utilizes a virtual case management system (VCM) in which staff and administrators generate regular electronic case-management reports and counselors update client progress. Collectively, agency administrators, field supervisors, and counselors utilize the VCM to monitor activities to improve the efficiency of case management in the VR service- delivery process. In terms of the project activities, the project has the following aims:
- Document the efficiencies and challenges that IDRS supervisors face in using case management tools and data in their efforts to supervise and manage front-line VR counselors across 50 IDRS offices. The project aims to document their perspectives on what is going well in terms of data utilization practices and their suggestions for improvements data use practices for management purposes within the system. This process was conducted by soliciting input about the capacity-building needs of various IDRS stakeholders’ (office staff supervisors, regional administrators, bureau chief , senior administrators, and members of the QA and IT teams) through an on-line survey in order to identify and prioritize areas for improvement/intervention.
- Conduct a data analysis and report of the Supervisor Case Review Data Base. This analysiswill be used to evaluate current case review practices and make recommendations for improvement.
- Conduct a data analysis of the Virtual Case Management Data Base for the last 5 years. This review will allow us to examine the data and make recommendations with input from VR administrators about data trends and ways to improve data access for supervisors and administrators.
- Identify training needs to address identified concerns and system weaknesses and strengths in changing data-utilization capacity within IDRS.
Thus, the UIC team and IDRS collaborators aim to utilize the findings form the VR QA project to document organizational capacity-building and to inform other states about promising practices in organizational efforts related to data use in the VR system.