InRule for configurable, dynamic, and flexible WIC systems

InRule helps State Agencies (SAs) and their partners update WIC systems to be more configurable, dynamic, and flexible by enabling subject matter experts to manage complex and changing rules outside of code.

Rules buried in WIC MIS code are rigid and expensive to update

Management information systems (MIS) support WIC staff and management in following all the rules, but WIC rules are currently embedded in software code within each individual system. Because those rules are buried in code, managing WIC rules is complex, time-consuming, and expensive.

Suntiva recommends BRMS for dynamic and flexible systems

Business Rule Management Systems (BRMS) is a key technology for MIS systems because it separates rules from code, making rules easily quantifiable, identifiable, and manageable. With InRule, rules, calculations, and decision logic can be updated without changing software code. Systems can be configured rather than customized, and States can easily update rules without expert developers. InRule also helps ensure accurate and consistent application of policy to support program integrity.

“Often SAs have specific rules applicable only to their SA. Putting these rules in a business rules engine makes for a more dynamic and flexible system. Each SA can have its own rules, which can easily be incorporated into the system without affecting the rules of other SAs.”

~Suntiva report to the USDA on the SPIRIT SAM system, 2013

InRule can enhance new and existing WIC systems

InRule can be used not only in developing new systems, but also to add new functionality or changes to existing WIC systems. Some of the key application areas that benefit from a rules-based approach include Waiting Lists, EBT, and Vendor Management.

Waiting Lists

Should waiting lists become necessary, InRule can support their creation and management. InRule can provide Waiting List functionality virtually outside of the current MIS, allowing States to add or enhance Waiting List capabilities without deploying changes to their existing MIS system.

EBT

Required by 2020, Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) brings numerous benefits for all WIC stakeholders and volumes of UPC-specific data for WIC management. This dramatic increase in data brings the requirement for an increase in the specificity, complexity, and volume of rules required. Unlike hard coding, InRule can help manage and execute large numbers of complex, frequently changing rules.

Vendor Management

Federal regulations require States to use vendor peer groups to manage and monitor authorized WIC vendors relative to both compliance and pricing. They also require that each state review their peer group structure every three years. With InRule peer group rules can be changed by vendor management staff themselves quickly and efficiently.

Learn more with these WIC resources:

White Paper: Rules for Configurable WIC Systems by WIC MIS Consultant Donna Seward.

WIC Datasheet

On Demand webinar:  Rules for Configurable WIC Systems

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) supports mothers and children across the nation through screening, referrals, nutrition education, breastfeeding support and supplemental foods.