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Before Intake: Diagnosis and Triage Eve Ricaurte.

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Presentation on theme: "Before Intake: Diagnosis and Triage Eve Ricaurte."— Presentation transcript:

1 Before Intake: Diagnosis and Triage Eve Ricaurte

2 Helping before the intake Legal aid programs find that many who call for help do not have a legal problem Information on statewide websites can answer many of these questions LiveHelp is a great tool to locate information or send web visitors to sites that are a better match for the problem than the legal aid program



5 What does the visitor really need? Many web visitors dont know how to articulate their problem Examples are when the user looks for family law information but thinks the issue is individual rights or third party rights Some dont understand the difference between civil law and criminal law Rumor has it that there is a pro se form for every type of case and problem

6 Agency referrals Referrals from one agency to another often miss the target Some agencies dont know that the legal aid program and the public defender program are not the same Eligibility requirements vary from agency to agency and someone who is eligible for service from one program may be over income for another

7 Frustration X 2 People who need help are frustrated when they are sent to the legal aid program by an agency, then find out the type of problem is not one the program handles Staff at legal aid programs, and other agencies, spend valuable time turning people away Both sides become exasperated by this wasted time

8 A new solution in the works Iowa Legal Aid is using the A2J Author Interview to create an online diagnostic and triage tool to help web users find the right source of help Questions are programmed to help identify the type of information or help the user needs Based on the answers the user might be directed to information, online forms, online intake or other agency web sites.



11 Logical next questions The interview is designed to make sure the user is in the right place For example, is the user looking for information in the right state?

12 Does the user need forms outside of Iowa? Sometimes the user lives in Iowa and has a case in another state The user can be directed to the national Law Help site, to find the other states Or the user can be directed to a site such as the National Center for State Courts, to find other state court websites that may have forms

13 Links to other interviews The triage tool can link the user to other interviews, such as the Iowa Legal Aid online intake interview Interview questions are asked to see if the case fits in the protocols of the types of cases Iowa Legal Aid accepts.

14 Links to other interviews contd If the case is not one Iowa Legal Aid can accept, further questions determine if the user is referred to the Lawyer Referral Service, other Bar Association or other legal service provider


16 Collecting data Iowas online intake interview collects the users data and converts it to the format used by the case management system The user does his or her own data entry, speeding up the intake process

17 Resolving issues with online intake Conflict checks – systems keep the applicants information out of the main database until a conflict determination is made Third party applications – checking with the applicant to confirm who is the client is part of the process Inaccurate financial or other information – reviewing this with the applicant is part of the process

18 Issues with online intake contd Deadlines – users are asked to call to apply if they have deadlines Missing contact information for applicant – The user cannot move forward and submit the application without it. Staff contact the user to review, still saving time if most data is there System flooded with applicants – prior to making the interview live, set up procedures to handle the applications. Eligible clients should reach the program, this is our goal.

19 Benefits of Online Intake Increase access, especially in rural areas Increase customer service, particularly during times when staff are on vacation or sick or during staff shortages Decrease stress on staff by reducing the amount of time spent gathering basic information so they can help more people

20 Questions? For more information on the development of this tool contact Eve Ricaurte Or go to

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