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Cardinal McCloskey Services

Not-for-Profit Serving At-Risk Families and Individuals Simplifies Data Collection for Caregivers In The Field

Xora helps Cardinal McCloskey Services’ caregivers spend less time on paperwork so they can spend more time with children.

Many not-for-profit organizations have suffered in recent years due to the decline in both public grants and private donations related to the economic downturn. But Cardinal McCloskey Services (CMS) of Valhalla, New York, which helps at-risk children and families, and adults with developmental disabilities, has weathered the recession relatively unscathed through a dual focus on client service and efficiency.

45 years of service

Founded in 1946, CMS provides millions of hours of service each year to more than 3,000 at-risk children and families, day care services for more than 1,500 children in low income families, Head Start programs to more than 1,400 children, and services to nearly 200 developmentally disabled adults. CMS’ over 930 full- and part-time staff members – including professionals in the fields of social work, education, psychiatry, psychology, medicine and child care – offer services through 17 different programs at 37 sites throughout the Bronx, East Harlem, Westchester County and Rockland County.

One of CMS’ most successful programs is New York State’s Bridges to Health, which provides critical services to foster children with significant mental health needs, developmental disabilities and those who are medically fragile. Bridges to Health is the only program of its kind in the country and CMS was one of the first seven agencies chosen by the New York State Office of Children and Families Services to participate. This has helped raise the profile of CMS and made fundraising easier.

“The more services CMS can provide through a particular program, the more funding it receives from agencies and other sources,” says Ms. Kamlesh Singh, Vice President of Financial and Corporate Compliance for CMS.

However, continued success with its programs requires CMS to efficiently and accurately document caregiver visits to clients, which in the past has been a challenge through paper-based methods.

Daily face-to-face contact with clients keeps caregivers on the move

Like most CMS programs, Bridges to Health requires regular face-to-face contact with every client, which means that CMS caregivers are out of the office and working in the field for most if not all of the day. During the course of their workdays, CMS caregivers must document the duration and services delivered during each client visit as well as observations about clients’ living situations and overall well being – information that is used for quality assurance, internal reporting, auditing and external compliance.

Collecting this information used to involve extensive manual note taking, which according to Singh, could detract from the main purpose of employees’ visits – personally interacting with clients to evaluate them and provide care, making recommendations and reporting issues and concerns, if necessary. Said Singh, “Our employees were often torn between giving their full attention to the children, families and adults who are our clients and completing the paperwork we need to meet our contractual and internal obligations to provide accurate and reliable documentation.”

Needed: A faster and more accurate way to document client visits

Seeking a better way for caregivers to collect data about client visits, CMS deployed the Xora mobile workforce software application. Xora turns any mobile device into a powerful productivity tool by streamlining work processes, eliminating manual paperwork, and generating alerts and reports that let organizations plan and make decisions for greater efficiency.

The Xora solution includes a downloadable mobile app that runs on GPS-enabled mobile phones carried by the 55 CMS caregivers working on the Bridges to Health program. These caregivers use the app to accurately record which clients they visit, when the visits take place, and how long the visits last during the actual visits themselves. Visits are automatically date and time stamped, making it easy for CMS to provide verification that visits were made. According to Singh, this improves the completeness and accuracy of caregivers’ documentation without taking time away from the people they are visiting.

In addition, using drop-down menus in the Xora mobile app, caregivers record the specific tasks they perform during each visit simply by selecting from a checklist. This information is automatically and wirelessly transmitted to a secure, cloud-based management console, which in turn automatically populates an electronic service summary form that is required by the state. According to Singh, freed from the burden of having to fill out service forms manually, CMS caregivers now are able to make more client visits in a day than were previously possible.

Meanwhile, back in the office, CMS’ staff also can log in to the Xora management console using any device equipped with a web browser, and access the information provided by caregivers or view the actual locations of caregivers in real time. This is useful in estimating when a caregiver might arrive at his or her next appointment or in re-routing or re-assigning a caregiver in the middle of the day, if necessary.

“Xora has been very beneficial in helping CMS track key data from client visits so we can measure and improve quality, and satisfy both internal reporting needs and those of our funders,” said Singh.

Bigger plans for the future

Given CMS’ initial satisfaction with Xora for documenting client visits for the Bridges to Health program, the organization is making plans to use more of the application’s capabilities and across more programs in the future, according to Singh. For example, a capability that is being tested now in a pilot project is the use of the built-in cameras on caregivers’ mobile phones to add photos of clients to their records and case files to further validate clients’ status.

In addition, today caregivers must manually enter information about approved clients into a scheduling and dispatch system, which then prints out paper copies of daily schedules for caregivers – a time consuming and sometimes error prone process. Soon, office personnel will enter client visit assignments into Xora and caregivers will be able to download schedules on their mobile phones.

CMS also plans to connect Xora to some of its back-office systems, including its Microsoft Access database and its Fund E-Z accounting software. This will make it possible for CMS to create fully integrated electronic records to streamline billing, auditing and compliance processes without manual data entry.

“Xora is a great solution for not-for-profit organizations because it is easy to purchase and use, and is affordable. With Xora, CMS can improve its operational efficiency without taking time away from our mission, which is to serve families, children and adults.”

Kamlesh Singh, Vice President of Financial and Corporate Compliance, CMS