State of Nevada Case Study

In 2015, WINTAC (Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center) announced the opportunity for three states to participate in a SARA pilot program funded by the RSA (Rehabilitation Services Agency).

Eleven states applied. Nevada was one of three states selected to implement SARA. The pilot only covered 5,000 clients, so after evaluating SARA further, the Nevada DETR (Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation) decide to apply additional funds for a statewide implementation. 

In the middle of the acquisition, all workforce agencies in Nevada changed to GeoSol, a new case management system (CMS). Vocational rehabilitation changed its CMS to Aware. SARA was successfully integrated into both systems. In 2019, DETR requested and received funding to use SARA for two additional years.

As of August 1, 2020, SARA helps manage 67,384 clients for 614 staff across Title I (WIBS), Title III (Wagner/Peyser), Title IV Voc Rehab, and TANF in Nevada.

One of the primary reasons DETR acquired SARA was to help alleviate administrative burdens on staff and increase services through more efficient communications.

In July 2020, 80,435 messages were exchanged with clients, of which 52,034 were between staff and clients directly. In addition, 67,384 case notes were generated by SARA. If generating a case note takes 10 minutes, including looking up client information, interviewing the client, and writing the note, that translates to 11,230 hours of staff time. To put it in perspective, SARA’s work equaled the efforts of 65 full-time employees. DETR’s annual cost for SARA? The equivalent of about 7 full-time employees per year.

“Vocational Rehabilitation’s primary emphasis on providing necessary services to help Nevadans with disabilities to work and live independently is further enhanced by our implementation of SARA,” said Shelley Hendren, Administrator of DETR’s Rehabilitation Division. “The integration of this virtual technology will make our staff more efficient and able to communicate quicker and more efficiently with our clients. Thereby making their experience with our division more streamlined and effective.”

In collaboration with DETR’s executive management team, SARA has solved one of the biggest problems affecting interagency data sharing — receiving client permission to do so.

When SARA notices that a client is co-enrolled with another agency, she automatically contacts the client requesting specific permission to share data between the co-enrolled agencies. Once the client’s permission is received, SARA informs the associated counselors and stores the proof of permission in the CMS. SARA solves that challenging problem automatically.