Averting double data entry springing from third party reporting requirements
Many of our clients participate in the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL), a network of over 150 crisis centers in the United States, to whom calls to several toll-free phone numbers focused on suicide prevention are routed. This free and confidential service provides crisis counseling and mental health referrals, 24-hours a day.
New reporting requirements for each call
Recently, NSPL began asking the crisis centers to provide demographic and issue information about each call (and without any caller-identifiable information). This provides them with the ability to better understand trends and issues so they may continue to refine and enhance the service. The call takers could “log” this information either on pre-formatted paper, or through a web page developed and hosted by NSPL for this purpose.
Concerns about extra burdens on phone workers
Although supportive of the initiative, the crisis centers worried that putting this extra requirement upon their call takers might be problematic, because it could:
- Introduce the need to conduct more training to new and existing phone workers
- Take more time to document a call
- Necessitate the use of yet another system (paper or web)
So working in concert with NSPL technical staff, the iCarol team developed a method of sending them the data they need in a way that is automatic and transparent to the phone workers. With the permission of the crisis center, every morning iCarol transmits data from several days prior to NSPL’s database. (The time delay allows the crisis center time to make final updates to the calls.)
For new or existing iCarol clients, we can configure this data transfer to work in just a few days. Our clients are delighted at the time savings they enjoy, while still fully meeting the requirements of the initiative.