NAMI New Hampshire (National Alliance on Mental Illness)

“We are saving a minimum of 8 hours of staff time per month.”

Summary

NAMI New Hampshire is a grassroots nonprofit organization working to improve the lives of all people affected by mental illness and suicide through support, education, and advocacy.

 

Reasons Penelope was chosen

  • Scalable case management software that can grow with organization
  • Flexible options for basic and advanced reporting needs
  • Configurable system that can accommodate data collection requirements from multiple providers in multiple services and locations

Benefits from Penelope

  • Efficient, streamlined system that allows staff to spend more time with clients and less on data entry
  • Better reporting options that allow users to quickly pull basic stats or dive deeper for more advanced reporting requirements
  • Data import set up by Athena’s professional services team helping to eliminate duplicate data entry in multiple systems

Introduction

NAMI New Hampshire (NAMI NH) is a nonprofit dedicated to offering support, education, and advocacy for individuals and families affected by mental illness and suicide. Comprised of a network of affiliate chapters and support groups, staff, and volunteers, NAMI NH provides information, education, and support to all families and communities affected by mental illness and suicide. In 2018, NAMI NH selected Penelope case management software to help manage the organization’s diverse and growing data collection and reporting needs. We recently caught up with Patrick Roberts, Coordinator of Program Evaluation and Improvement at NAMI NH, to learn more about the nonprofit and how Penelope is helping them achieve their mission.

What system(s) was NAMI NH using to track client information prior to Penelope?

Before we started using Penelope, we were using a different cloud-based case management system to track data. That system met all of our needs when it was purchased. However, we experienced significant growth over the past year-and-a-half and it was not flexible enough to adequately scale up to meet our changing needs.

What was the main problem your organization was trying to solve with a new case management system?

Our main goal with changing to a new case management system was to gain efficiency and reduce the amount of time that staff were spending on data entry rather than working with the individuals and families that we help support.

What factors did you consider before making your decision?

As part of our selection process we spoke with 10 to 15 different vendors. The key elements that we were looking for were flexibility in the type of data we could collect (we do not offer traditional clinical services and need to track different things/ track things in different ways from many providers), the ability to minimize the number of steps our staff have to go through when entering a record (with our previous system as many as five separate entries in two different locations could be needed to report on one meeting with a family), and the ability to use the system from a mobile device (our staff meet with families wherever it works best for the family – in those settings a tablet can be much less obtrusive, as well as being easier to transport and work with than a laptop).

Why did you choose Penelope?

In addition to Penelope meeting all of the criteria noted above, we were impressed by the reporting capabilities and the model used for user licenses. The built-in system reports have been easy enough for all of our users to get the general information that they need, while the Tableau module and the ODBC connector have been fantastic for our more advanced reporting needs.

What was your implementation experience like?

Our implementation went extremely well. The Athena Software staff that we worked with were very responsive and helpful in getting Penelope configured to fit our organization. The most difficult part about the whole process was finding times when all of the key individuals from our organization were available at the same time in order to participate in the training and configuration sessions. The actual setup of Penelope was easy to complete and fairly intuitive once the general details were explained.

What issues has Penelope helped your organization solve?

Some of this was already addressed above (better reporting options and a greater number of staff now able to access the system), but also, thanks to work being done by Athena’s Professional Services team, we will soon be able to regularly have data imported from a system operated by one of our partners where some of our staff are required to enter data. This has eliminated the need for our staff to do double entry of data in multiple systems (this double entry was necessary with our previous case management system).

How would you explain Penelope to someone who has never used it?

Penelope is a platform that allows you to enter notes about the individual or family you are working with, look up past events, complete forms and documents electronically, monitor the activity of individuals you supervise, and securely communicate about clients with other staff. Because it is cloud-based, you can do all of these things whether you are in the office or out in the field as long as you have an internet connection available.

What measurable benefits have you seen since implementing Penelope?

As a result of implementing Penelope, we have reduced the amount of time spent manually working with data to generate reports by at least 75% and we are saving a minimum of 8 hours of staff time per month. It has also cut the amount of data entry staff need to complete for existing clients in half.

Would you recommend Penelope to other organizations? If so, why?

Yes, we would recommend Penelope to other organizations who are either looking for their first case management system, or who are looking for an upgrade. Penelope strikes a good balance between the available features, ease of use, and cost.

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Like what you see? Download our pdf version of the NAMI New Hampshire case study to share with others at your organization.

 

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