APRICOT SOFTWARE: "Our experience of using the system to monitor activity and outcomes" by Michelle Dawson, Living Life Service Manager, Middlebrough & Stockton Mind
Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind is affiliated to Mind, the National Association for Mental Health and we work within the policies and quality standards of Mind. We offer lots of different mental health related services and deliver multiple projects. Our projects are individual and separate from each other and they are designed to meet the needs of different people in different ways. We needed a flexible database with the ability to go above and beyond building customised forms and data reports. We needed software which can be tailored fit our specific needs and workflow.
One of the things that made Apricot stand out from other software available is that our organisation would have the ability to enable clients, stakeholders and volunteers to access reports, histories, actions, and updates. With this collaboration capability, Apricot will could help streamline and automate the way our team shared information, determine outcomes and serve our clients. Our data is now accessible at everyone’s fingertips.
Our Apricot journey began in January 2014. We worked with Gallery's technical specialists to develop our Apricot for three months before going live with our staff members in April 2014. Our existing data was imported into the system to co-ordinate with our go-live date. Since April we have further developed our Apricot to co-ordinate with our processes and meet our exact reporting requirements. Once we had our new database set up, we could easily implement it for case management, outcomes reporting, client, volunteer and donor tracking and to monitor the achievements and outcomes of our organisation.
Making life easier as a staff member
Apricot has allowed us to improve the organisation of our case management work load. It is simple to use and fits our processes beautifully. We can capture everything we need to. It is easy to catch up after time off. Working with other projects is much easier as everything can be held in one system. There is no longer any need to collate statistics every month for reports as the reports we need just trundle out of the system.
Making life easier as a manager
Our service level data is available which allows us to track our organisations' activity and respond quickly. Apricot has all of this information readily available by capturing information from intake to outcomes, which is done so no piece of information falls through the cracks. I can analyse staff performance data at the touch of a button. Our clinical audits are much easier. I can produce reports for commissioners and stakeholders.
Making life easier as an organisation
Apricot software goes beyond case management needs and gives us the ability to clearly communicate the impact of our organisation. Apricot offers a variety of services giving us the ability to put a large focus on outcomes and community impact. We can better understand what goes into a successful outcome plan and how to increase our successes each year. By receiving these insights, we are able to make better-informed decisions about where we should allocate our resources for future programming. Apricot allow us to understand fully who we are working with. We can compare data across projects. We can mix and match outcome strands in line with our seven organisational outcomes. We are better able to identify strategic operational, technical, and outcome-based objectives, so that we can maximise our technology’s capabilities to meet our organisation’s outcomes, data collection, and reporting needs. And finally all of this saves us money.
Working with Gallery
Gallery's technical staff have been on hand throughout the development, implementation, training and indeed we are still working together to fine tune our Apricot further as we better understand the data it is producing. There is always someone friendly, patient and helpful available to assist at the end of the telephone.