Athena Software Blog
Penelope case management software can help eliminate duplicate data entry
Posted by Greg Stanley-Horn on Jul. 4, 2016

Like Bart Simpson being forced to write the same phrase over and over again on the chalkboard at the opening of The Simpsons, duplicate data entry is an absurd redundancy that often feels like an irrational punishment of sorts.

If you've already entered an element of information once before in your social service agency's client information management system, why should you have to do it again (and again)?

I think any service provider or practitioner forced to endure this kind of useless repetitive work has felt at some point that, “Hey, my time is precious and is better spent adding value to service delivery to help achieve better outcomes for my clients!”

One of Penelope’s unique strengths is our software’s ability to allow data to “move” throughout the system so that it's available to add value and reduce time-wasting data entry downstream.

Eliminate Duplicate Data Entry

For example, our smart forms provide tools that allow you to build question 'inputs' of various types, such as text, numeric data, drop-down lists, check boxes, dates, etc., so that you can collect virtually any type of information.

This critical functionality is extended significantly by also providing tools to pull in (or pre-populate) existing data from virtually anywhere in a client’s demographic profile or case file - including from other smart forms!

This pre-populated data could be simple elements such as a client’s name, date of birth, ethnicity, current age, address information, risk factors, presenting concerns or family-related information (to name just a few examples), all of which can reduce routine data entry effort as well as the possibility of error.

This will also ensure the most recent, timely and accurate information is displayed in a relevant clinical context to support effective clinical decision-making, documentation and notes.

These configurable pre-population elements are in addition to the standard document header information that is already automatically present in our smart forms and reporting.

Pull Data From One Form to Another

It is perhaps a much lesser known fact that Penelope goes significantly beyond this kind of basic but essential data pre-population to support even more advanced smart dataflow techniques.

For example, using configurable 'v-docs' that your agency can build yourself or that you can engage our data analysts to build, you can select virtually any data element in completed smart forms on a client’s case file to pull into any other smart form for that case.

Not only that, but the information that's brought forward and displayed in the smart form can be identified using custom conditional and contextual logic.

For example, you can opt to have a smart form contain a section that displays the notes from the client's most recent five appointments or the goals from a service plan, or a complete log of answers to a specific set of questions, or assessment scores from different tools - even if those questions are spread across multiple forms completed at various points in time and stored in various parts of the case file.

Control Access to Form Data

Further, perhaps you want to make certain information available to a staff person who otherwise would not be permitted to access the rest of the underlying records.

This incredibly powerful 'hidden' feature-set provides your agency with extremely nuanced and refined capabilities to conditionally select very specific aspects of pre-existing data and to “surface” this critical information in virtually any manner imaginable.

Having this key information available for review and consideration by a practitioner as they complete other critical documentation serves to maximize the currency and timeliness of information, dramatically reduce mundane data entry and provide a best practice information framework for supporting clinical decision-making and completion of service documentation and assessments.

With these types of configurable tools, you won’t find your staff repeating Bart’s chalkboard absurdities and you’ll be able to devote more time to your clients, while serving more clients more effectively.

If you're interested in learning more about how Penelope case management software can help transform your nonprofit or social service agency today, contact us today and an evaluation specialist will be in touch!

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