Scottish Huntington's Association
'GEORGE' Data Management System
The Scottish Huntington's Association (SHA) is an independent charity serving 5,000 families across Scotland whose lives are affected by the incurable condition. To satisfy the needs of those funding its work, the SHA has an obligation to report on how and where its services are being used, and the impact they have - information that is also valuable in the charity's own planning. Yet the SHA did not have a central system to consolidate data from its 12 different locations, nor clear visibility of its multiple services to ensure that families' needs were consistently met.
"The process was time-consuming, error prone and by the time the reports were collated, the data was already out of date," recalls SHA Chief Executive John Eden. "To prepare information for our funders, we'd have to give all of the services at least four weeks' notice, and still allow for some chasing."
Because speed was of the essence, DCSL Software delivered a working prototype for the SHA to test within just 4-6 weeks.
The solution incorporated the facility to map family networks within the database. John Eden commented "This was a new innovation that DCSL had introduced, which is proving very valuable to us. Because Huntington's is a genetic disease, we could be working with three generations of the same family, so it's extremely useful to be able to map and monitor these connections."
As well as capturing and collating information about how families experience the SHA's services, the system contains a number of pre-defined reports. "We have achieved our aim of gaining real-time visibility of the population we're serving," John continued. "We can track how many men or women are affected, which ethnic groups they're from, and so on, complete with a diagram showing how clients have rated the help we have provided. It's very easy now to get a quick status overview, whether for the service overall or for individual components."
Instead of requiring a month's notice and six days of compilation, it now takes the SHA just a few minutes to generate its reports, producing massive efficiency savings across 12 services.
"There have undoubtedly been efficiency savings," John says. "The software helps support our funding applications, too. We have just completed an application for the Big Lottery, an organisation which is very keen on monitoring results."
"In all likelihood we will continue to build on the new system," John says. "It has already given staff an appetite for a paperless clinical management system, so that may be the next development."
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