Contact Form Editor
Users in your organization with Administrator status in iCarol have near-complete control over the content of contact report forms. That is, you can set up the exact data fields you’d like to collect, and arrange those fields how you’d like on your data collection forms.
To do so, you’d use our built-in form editor, with easy-to-navigate menus and buttons.
The settings and controls offered with this tool are meant to let you customize your data collection forms so they reflect the way you prefer to work. We recognize that there is a dual challenge with data collection — A need to document contacts for funders and do trend analysis plus a need to work through the contact effectively and provide the person in need with the best possible service. Our tools are designed to help you achieve both.
Typically, people use the pull-down menus they find in the editing tool to collect data where there’s at most one answer. Two examples: Telephone line and client age range. Of course you can designate those exact line names and age ranges in the pull-down menus.
When there could be more than one response, we recommend using checkbox fields. We see this often when people want to document things like presenting issues or financial stressors, where more than one selection could apply. Here too, you designate the exact name and number of items you’d like on your form.
Radio buttons are often used in risk assessments – they’re easy for a volunteer or staff to fill out quickly. Weighted answers to these radio button fields can also be linked to an assessment scale that is displayed onscreen. The scale changes as each field is filled out. We’ve seen users set policies regarding actions to take once certain levels are reached on this scale. You can select the weighting as well as the actual questions.
When the data to collect is open-ended, feel free to create a text-entry area on your form, and adjust the size of the text entry box to fit your needs. Text-entry data is analyzed by exporting your contact record data, which you can do at any time from the iCarol Admin Tools area.
Settings in this form editing tool let you control where on the form each question or set of questions will reside. In what order should the fields appear? Do your volunteers or staff prefer to work in a few long columns or many short ones? You can customize your forms to closely mirror the flow of a typical call or other contact.
This editing tool also lets you set up what we call “conditional” elements. That is, you can have a set of questions display on your form only if another question is answered in a specified way. For example, you may have a checkbox that says “Caller agreed to go to the hospital.” When — and only when — that checkbox is marked by your staff member, additional questions appear regarding the hospital visit. In this way, the volunteer or staff only sees relevant questions, and only when they need them. This streamlines their work.
Another option is the ability for you to designate any question as required for volunteer or staff to fill out. This helps ensure uniform data collection. You can set as many of these as you like. When your worker forgets to answer a question you’ve marked as required, the system provides a friendly warning, highlights the missing field, and won’t let the volunteer or staff submit the form until that question is answered.
You can also designate certain fields to create an exemption for all the required fields. That is, if a certain field is marked on the form, it makes it so that all required fields are no longer required. For example, if a call is marked as being a wrong number or silent call, the volunteer or staff is exempted from having to fill out all required fields on the form and can finish documentation and close the form more quickly. This also helps with data integrity.
Do you often need to train new volunteers or staff? Feel free to add help tips and formatted script elements to your data collection forms as needed. These elements can guide your users, walk them through their documentation, and explain how to fill out certain areas.
When thinking about what fields you’ll include on your data collection form, we recommend you keep in mind the reports you’ll need to run. That’s because every non text entry answer can be used as a filter when running reports. So, if you know you need to report on gender, age range, issues, and issue subcategory, then you would be sure to create those fields. In this example, you could quickly run a date-defined report on “males between the ages of 40 and 60 with an addiction problem related to gambling.
Want to know more about this or any other iCarol feature? Feel free to contact us with your questions!