The paperless WIC: New program to provide convenience to clients

SAN BENITO — A new computer system will soon be integrated into the WIC program making daily procedures for administrators and clients easier.

WIC, a federal assistance program for women, infants and children, will be paperless by summer.

A decade in the making, the new Texas Integrated Network will allow agencies to keep files electronically and provide added benefits to clients.

Over the next couple of months, the program will be released in phases to make the transition from systems easier.

Cameron County WIC interim Director Yvette Vicinaiz said they don’t know everything about the new system yet, but it will make the program run more efficiently.

“It’s very new to us,” Vicinaiz said. “It’s not only paperless but it will have a lot of other benefits.”

The new program will provide convenience and allow clients to receive their benefits remotely rather than forcing them to make the drive to San Benito where the WIC clinic is located.

Vicinaiz said there is a four-day delay in transferring paperwork for clients switching to clinics that are closer to them.

The new program will speed up that process.

Like many doctors’ offices, clients will be able to receive alerts and reminders for their next appointments by text or email.

“It will help with retention by reminding them when their appointments are,” Vicinaiz said. “There are a lot of good perks.”

Administrators in the Cameron County office will receive training on the new program in San Antonio in February with a second training in April.

“We’re very excited to not have actual files anymore,” Vicinaiz said.

Vicinaiz said starting in February, the agency will be slowly transferring to the electronic version.

“It’s a lot quicker than what we’re doing currently,” Vicinaiz said.

By May the agency will be fully utilizing the new system.

“We don’t know how much capability it is going to give us but overall it sounds very good,” Vicinaiz said.

New program benefits

• Paperless

• Allows clients to receive benefits remotely

• Allows clients to receive appointment reminders by phone, via text or email

• New and improved growth charts to track childrens’ development