Client documentation


​​​​​​​A tailored, mobile client documentation system offers specific solutions to plan and organise social workers that work in the field tending to clients as well as to document services rendered.

This tool prepares us for the future, allowing us to directly adjust configurations and workflows, for instance to open new service areas. DCCS has convinced us with its high levels of competence, reliability and flexibility. They understand our work and our concerns.

Paul Wawerka, NEUSTART

The path to a tailored information, scheduling and documentation platform

​​The non-profit NEUSTART association offers various services in the fields of reintegrating offenders and victim support.  NEUSTART provides valuable preventative work that can be processed even more efficiently thanks to IT. Its existing client documentation system had become long in the tooth and was replaced by a tailored solution. Additional functions facilitate scheduling and organising the work of field workers.

The tailored solution offers:
A better overview and facilitated management thanks to workflows
The new client documentation system provides the NEUSTART association with many additional options. Previously, only progress entries were made for clients. Now, the system records dates, relevant e-mails and notifications. Calendar entries can be transferred to our social workers’ personal IBM Notes calendars. “The software can also handle mobile applications and can synchronise dates with mobile phones,” Paul Wawarka, Project Manager at NEUSTART, reports. Likewise, it facilitates the management of waiting lists for group files and housing compared to the Excel lists previously used.

Thanks to the elaborate authorisation system that differentiates between different roles such as social workers, administrative staff, department managers and directors, personal data is completely safe. Furthermore, the system supports the so-called supervisory control process which serves to check compliance with the quality handbook’s regulations. The reporting workflow also improves efficiency. It provides an interface to the electronic legal transaction system, facilitating communication with legal courts significantly. For instance, it allows for social worker reports to be uploaded into the system effortlessly, after which they can be authorised by the department manager and automatically transferred to the electronic legal transaction system and thus, made available to court employees in a timely fashion. Other documents relevant to clients, such as court sentences, can also be brought up directly in the application. Furthermore, the system provides automatically created to-do lists and handy reminder functions for authorisations, among others. “Comprehensive support by the application helps us reflecting on case processing, making our daily care work more professional,” Wawerka opines.

Quickly implemented, of sustainable value and yet:
A large step for NEUSTART

The scheduling and documentation solution has been in use for about half a year. It can not only be accessed by full-time employees, but also by volunteers. Some 400 people work with the solution on a daily basis. Via external access, they can use the system from their homes and on the road. “The software's introduction has had important effects on our organisation and yielded significant progress towards more professionalism in our work. Not just its many new functions, but also its fresh and easier-to-use interface provide significant value,” Wawerka recalls. The Project Manager particularly emphasises the added value of increased self-organisation among employees, a better overview of clients and reports, simpler appointment management, automated notifications, and optimised task management. Statistics, reports and key figures can be extracted from the system at any time and made available to employees, managers or directors, enabling them to draw conclusions about the performance of 41,000 clients on a case-by-case basis.
 “The efforts have paid off. This tool prepares us for the future, allowing us to directly adjust configurations and workflows, for instance to open new service areas. DCCS has convinced us with its high levels of competence, reliability and flexibility. They understand our work and our concerns,” Wawerka sums up.

Customer-specific processes implemented
When developing the .NET application, DCCS employed the agile approach. This allowed the specific solution to be further developed in small sub-steps and tested simultaneously. The prototype proved itself right from the start. After that, all requirements were implemented step by step in the web-based application. This also included challenges such as the integration of the so-called resource risk inventory in order to comply with the professional European standards for risk analysis and relapse prevention. “This allows us to more accurately assess the scope of care in assisting ex-prisoners and in probation assistance than before,” Wawerka said.
Country-specific differences proved a hurdle in the project. “In Germany, we only have three service areas, but in Austria we have twelve, ranging from probation assistance and crime compensation to electronically monitored house arrest. Before we were able to start designing the software, we had to analyse our processes in detail and, where it made sense, synchronise them with those in Germany,” says Wawerka.
Uniform workflows existed in few areas at the time, so DCCS had to re-implement many Austria-specific processes in the application. “Even today, the software is being developed further in the sense of a continuous improvement process, whether in the wake of legal changes or changed user requirements. We adapt some areas ourselves and have others developed by DCCS,” the Project Manager concludes.

How it all began:
NEUSTART and the search for an information and scheduling portal
Founded i n 1957, the NEUSTART non-profit offers social work, offender reintegration, victim support and preventative measures. In Austria, the association is represented by 1,400 full-time and volunteer employees, supporting some 41,000 clients with its social work services. The association was already using a solution to manage the massive amounts of reports and documents, but that one had become long in the tooth. “The colleagues weren’t happy with the outdated client documentation system. That's why we were looking to replace the software with a tailored solution while adding functions such as mobile scheduling and organisation of our field employees,” says Paul Wawerka.

The project started with a tender issued by NEUSTART Austria for its NEUSTART subsidiary in Baden-Württemberg, where the association had been commissioned by the state's justice ministry with perpetrator-victim reconciliation, probation assistance and court assistance until the end of 2016. After a market analysis and a tender with eleven providers, the Austrian solutions specialist DCCS was selected. Several workshops with the people in charge and employees followed, in which processes and requirements were analysed and discussed. After that DCCS designed a prototype that proved itself in trials and started being used in Baden-Württemberg as the new client documentation system from early 2015. In the next step, the web-based was supposed to be rolled out in Austria to schedule and document daily work at the association's nine locations and 24 field offices. This revealed that, while similar to those in Germany, the Austrian requirements were rather different. “Processes in Germany and Austria differed significantly, for instance when it came to service areas, but also because of different legal regulations,” Wawerka explains. The specification sheet for Austria finally included essential requirements such as user-friendly menus and high software ergonomics, a calendar function, notifications, interfaces to e-mail and IBM Notes calendar as well as quality management and reporting support. DCCS once again won the following tender procedure as it was able to best meet the catalogue of criteria. “Our decision was based on our positive experience with the solution in Baden-Württember, but also DCCS's capacities and competence,” Wawerka states.

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