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Spotlight on Innovations and Achievements: Alliance for Aging

We're proud to highlight the award-winning work of the 2019 winners of n4a's Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards in this weekly spotlight feature. This week, we are focusing on Alliance for Aging's Fast Pass program. The agency was a 2019 Aging Achievement Award winner in the Agency Operations category.

After growing frustrated with their outdated and convoluted referral system, the Alliance for Aging developed a new way to electronically receive referrals. The new referral system, Fast Pass, allows community agencies to process up to 40 referrals in a single spreadsheet submitted by email for a quicker, more efficient process that allows clients to access services sooner.
 
Fast Pass has not only made lives easier for the Alliance for Aging staff members, but it also has made an impact on the community. It enables clients who have been identified as having specific immediate needs by providers to have expedient access to screening for programs and services that can address their needs. In one recent 12-month period, 1,765 clients benefited from this system, which showcases the dramatic impact this service has on the community.
 
Participants who use the Fast Pass program say that it is well-run, effective and efficient. The system is simple and fast: it includes a dedicated email address to which all referrals are sent, which is monitored by an Intake Specialist who is in charge of managing and assigning incoming referrals to appropriate staff. Once a month, the AAA provides via email outcomes for these referrals to each participating provider. By eliminating the need to call the Helpline (the AAA's I&R line), a very time-consuming process, providers and clients also reduce waiting time for screening and potential release from the waiting list.
 
For other AAAs looking to implement a similar program, the Alliance for Aging suggests that AAAs first evaluate the anticipated need and volume of clients within the community for this type of program. Equally important is to consider whether your agency has enough staff to run the program. The program should have a designated staff member to manage the program, including assigning and following up to referrals. Additionally, this staff member will correspond with the referring agencies as needed and provide monthly outcomes on clients that have been referred. Communication within the unit and with providers is the key to the smooth operation and success of the Fast Pass program.
 
To learn more about Alliance for Aging's Fast Pass program, contact Max B. Rothman, President and CEO, at rothmanm@allianceforaging.org
 
Want to learn more about the 2019 AIA Innovations winners? REGISTER NOW for the final installment of our four-part webinar series, n4a Lunchtime Innovations, to hear your peers' secrets to success for these award-winning programs. Missed the earlier webinars? No problem, as recordings are available for n4a members! 
 
For more information about the 2019 winners, read our press release and check out our book of winners to learn how your agency can implement this or similar programs in your community! Also keep your eye out for our February opening of the submissions process for the 2020 AIA Awards.

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