NSIPS Enhancements Help Navy's Aspiring Healthcare Professionals Receive Faster, More Accurate Financial Benefits

Thanks to new functionality inside the Navy's largest pay and personnel method, health-related, dental, optometry, physician assistant, podiatry and nursing students are getting quicker, a lot more accurate reimbursements and tuition payments as portion of their Navy scholarship added benefits. Additionally, the new functionality has boosted the efficiency of participant tracking and communication for managers on the scholarship programs.

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Enhancements for the Navy Normal Integrated Personnel System (NSIPS) have supplied the Navy Medicine Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education (NAVMED MPT&E) Healthcare Accessions Department (NMAD) with efficient tools to manage personnel, tuition payments, reimbursements, incentive payments, logistics and instruction data for extra than 1,700 Navy Reservists enrolled in its Health Professions Incentives Programs (HPIP).

Another improvement is the Navy's ability to report core strength and demographic data required by Congress for the military's Health-related Accessions programs.

Personnel with the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SSC) Atlantic New Orleans Office, which provides a complete range of life cycle support, engineering, and maintenance services for NSIPS, deployed the functionality in June 2008 in response to NMAD's requirement for a far more efficient and accurate program to manage HPIP data and to administer the $100 million doled out annually in stipends, bonuses, tuition payments, reimbursements, and active duty annual coaching pay and entitlements.

Also required was a system that could interface with multiple Reserve and active duty systems to initiate, pay and track appropriate entitlements.

The goal of the development effort, said Edura Baham, SSC Atlantic's NSIPS project director, was to provide a standardized and integrated field-level data collection system for entering and tracking HPIP data for Navy personnel, leveraging the existing data, hardware and network infrastructure of NSIPS, which is based on PeopleSoft commercial software and an Oracle database.

"Minimum customization kept development costs in check," said Baham, who was the NSIPS deputy program manager during HPIP development.

The new component of NSIPS provides a Web-based technique that is the single point of entry for information pertaining to HPIP-related spend and personnel data by support staff at the NAVMED MPT&E in Bethesda, Md.

With the critical first-year milestone now past, the method is getting high marks from the staff who work with students and universities as they administer the scholarship programs.

Dr. Sandra Yerkes, NAVMED Accessions program manager, also gives the program a thumbs up. "The systems engineers who worked with us were exceptionally receptive to our needs and ideas for improved connectivity with existing Reserve and financial data systems, as well as with the individual scholarship participants," Yerkes said. "The new NSIPS modules and functionalities have significantly enhanced our tracking and communication abilities."

The new NSIPS functionality replaced a legacy technique that lacked the modern, robust features needed to support NMAD staff and HPIP participants.

Initially developed and deployed in 1996 by the former SSC New Orleans, the Reserve Common Education, Administration and Readiness Support - Health Professions (RSTARS-HP) application was a successful PC-based application that authorized payment for stipends, bonuses, reimbursements and annual instruction entitlements for qualified Navy health professional students.

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Prior towards the deployment of RSTARS-HP, the application process was manual and took up to six weeks. RSTARS-HP allowed staff to enter payment data, which was uploaded to the Reserve Headquarters Support (RHS) method and then processed through an interface to the Defense Joint Military Spend System-Reserve Component (DJMS-RC), the technique used by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service to issue payments.

As technology changed, RSTARS-HP became extra costly to maintain and would have required significant investments to upgrade operating systems, databases and hardware, and to comply with new security mandates and spend for scholarship benefit expansion.

In 2007, NAVMED MPT&E received permission and funding to migrate the legacy system's functionality to NSIPS, a logical choice since the system contains many functions that RSTARS-HP users required, including the ability to process personnel gains and losses, enter personnel data and record annual instruction.
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