MOORE COUNTY -- Leaders hope a new computer system will help make the WIC program in the Tar Heel State more efficient. The special supplemental nutrition program is going paperless.
Vouchers are given to thousands of individuals in Moore County through the WIC system. The special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children gives federal assistance for the nutrition and health care of low income pregnant women, women who breast feed, infants and children under the age of 5. Now, Moore County is registering these women and children in a new paperless system called Crossroads.
"It's paperless, and so they aren't sitting there spending all of their time writing this into paper charts that they have to find the next time the patient comes in and stuff, so it improves the service to the patient in the long run,” said Robert Wittman, Moore County health director.
Moore County was one of the first counties in North Carolina to transition into this new system. The conversion from paper to the Crossroads system began in June and already the nutritionist on site says it's been a change for the better.
"It's far more efficient. We are able to get through nutrition assessments faster and focus on the nutrition education aspect as far as the one of one conversations that we have with our clients. We are able to focus on that more as opposed to focusing on getting everything down on paper,” said nutritionist Lauren Rakes.
In order to be eligible for WIC families must have an income below 185 percent of the U.S. poverty level. The services provide supplemental food, infant formula and free health and nutrition classes.
"The program really helps families stretch their food dollars. A lot of the low income families may also take part in another program such as food stamps, but that can only go so far,” said Susie Poppe, nutritionist.
The Crossroads program is 100 percent federally funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Services.