Initiative 3: Information & Referrals (IRIS)
By working together to continuously improve the local service delivery system, AOK Networks are able to improve system outcomes that lead to more positive outcomes for children and families.
In 2019, when the Kane County AOK Network identified a need for a more efficient referral system to reinforce a holistic approach to community support, the IRIS system was introduced. This tool increases access to quality service, coordination of efforts, and promotes equity in service by removing common barriers. IRIS also benefits the both providers and families through data.
The adoption and expansion of IRIS in Kane County will allow for decision makers to use the data to engage in ongoing quality improvement efforts around the specific needs of our families and the capacity our service provider community has to meet those changing needs. IRIS successfully launched among cross-sector providers in March, 2021.
Since then, the system has been adopted widely by over 90 organizations in our community and has connected community members to the services they need over 500 times.
“IRIS is already proving to be an ideal tool to use for community systems development and improvement and its use is spreading throughout Illinois and other parts of the nation," said Kane County AOK Network Coordinator Kim Peterson. “IRIS is user-friendly, people powered, and data driven which gives us the ability to accurately identify and address strengths and areas of need that are specific to Kane County residents and their families. Providers in Kane have reported that using IRIS has increased collaboration and communication among providers, enhancing our community capacity to serve individuals and families in a more comprehensive way."