Data Sharing in Devon
With an outward looking and visible approach to fulfilling its shared vision for the community and having successfully secured the full support of its workforce, Devon County Council (DCC) has a clear and ambitious vision that reflects both national agendas and local needs. In line with the Gershon requirements to improve efficiency and effectiveness, Local Authorities are looking for new ways to deliver a better and improved service user experience. Integration between CRM and Social Care has been acknowledged as a key area for Authorities to target the streamlining of business processes and the improvement of the services they offer.
Devon County Council is committed to the vision of providing a single point of contact for their customers thus improving the overall customer experience. Therefore, Devon County Council was seeking to improve their service delivery through integrated working.
Historically, when members of the public made initial contact with the authority, the data would be recorded into Frontline, DCC’s CRM system and often, re-entered into CareFirst, DCC’s case management solution. Similarly, the CRM operative would have to search both the CRM system and CareFirst when trying to determine if a member of the public was already known to Social Services.
This dual process was particularly time consuming and laborious and often resulted in an inordinate amount of duplication. Therefore, DCC recognised that implementing a robust and adaptable solution to enable information to be shared efficiently, reliably and securely was absolutely essential.
High levels of throughput and increasing customer expectations make integrating Social Care with CRM an area which requires much thought. Recognising that Adult Social Care is unique in the way it needs to approach the integration of a CRM solution, Hytec’s systems integration team developed an application tailored to the specific needs of DCC.
The team used a consultative approach to gain an understanding of the business benefits DCC wanted to achieve through joining up the processes involving CareFirst and Frontline. Ultimately the productivity of CRM operatives and the service delivery has been greatly improved, as the way work is managed and communicated has radically changed. The new process now allows users to access both systems through a single application. Users are also able to undertake a combined search of both Frontline and CareFirst, thus accessing more information up-front. An improvement in the accuracy of information means that decisions can be made more confidently, based on all accessible or available citizen information. This is due to the fact that the solution enables users from different departments to access, share and consolidate case records more efficiently and quickly.
The implementation of this solution has brought significant benefits for both the CRM operatives and the CareFirst users at Devon County Council. Advantages were secured internally with regards to time-saving, improved accuracy of information, decision making and service outcomes; cost-savings and the need to re-enter data was removed. Service users gain from a transformed service delivery which will increase their confidence levels when dealing with DCC and the Adult Social Care.
Marisa Smyth, Devon's Systems Manager for Social Care, comments: “Prior to the solution, a certain level of effort and difficulty was experienced in data sharing between the two systems. Staff would be required to go through a more time consuming process which involved having to check information on two disparate systems and, on occasions, e-mailing information across to other users.” Following the implementation, CRM operatives are also able to undertake a combined search of both CareFirst and Frontline, thus providing more information up-front. This improved accuracy of information means that decisions can be made confidently based on all accessible or available citizen information.
As information is entered just once, the need to re-key data manually into different applications is eliminated and because of this the number of duplicate records is reduced. In addition, if further assessment work is required, the solution opens up the correct assessment in the CareFirst system for completion.
The solution was developed with such flexibility that should a higher level of functionality be required at any stage in the future, Hytec can configure this solution to meet those changing needs.
Summing up, Marisa Smyth comments:The solution meets our specific need in relation to CRM. In addition, the fact that it is component based means that it is flexible and scalable and can evolve and grow with Devon County Council’s individual demands. Looking forward, Devon County Council intend to expand the use of this solution for other projects such as eSAP as well as integrating information collated by social workers via mobile devices.”