We conducted interviews with staff from two organizations selected by OA staff to inform our understanding of the quality of RAPIDS data and the data entry process. These organizations were Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, a large owner of nursing homes, and the Georgia Health Care Association, an association for nursing homes in Georgia. Topics included the overall data entry process, sources of information for wage data, and problems encountered during RAPIDS data entry and recommendations for improvement. Generally, one person is responsible in these organizations for entering data into RAPIDS from information contained in enrollment forms at the beginning of an apprenticeship. Thereafter, both programs entered data at the completion of trainings or on an as needed basis. On a 10-point scale, with 10 being the best quality and 1 being the worst quality, one program rated information contained in an apprentices application form at a 7, requiring follow-up with an apprentice to obtain or clarify information. After all data were collected though, these programs rated data entry at a 9-10.
Regarding problems entering data, or changes needed in the RAPIDS system, one program experienced problems in transitioning data electronically between the advanced training data fields and specialty training data fields, saying that instead of entering the data into RAPIDS, they sent the data in an e-mail to DOL. Another program said that using RAPIDS was cumbersome and not user friendly. For example, one cannot go back to the previous screen. One program stated that it would be useful to add one more data field to track the entire length of time of ones apprenticeship across all trainings completed.
Wage data entered into RAPIDS are hourly data. Entry and exit wages were the apprentices actual wage at apprenticeship entry and exit. The pre-apprenticeship wages entered are the same as the entry wage. One program granted an automatic 25 cent hourly increase in wages for completing a training, while another program provided a wage increase or bonus only at the discretion of various nursing homes within the larger organization, largely dependent on whether there were budgeted funds at the time to do so.