Considerations when terminating a SupportAbility s​ubscription

There are several important considerations when terminating a SupportAbility subscription. These include determining how data will be stored, managed, and made available following termination, as well as transferring data and/or processes to an alternative system, determining a suitable termination date, and deciding whether or not a subscription extension will be required to assist your organisation with the transition.

We are always sad to see providers leave, however, we ultimately want all providers to work with a system that satisfies all of their business needs. It is important to emphasise that we are here to support your organisation through to the end of your time with SupportAbility in an effort to assist with a smooth transition. 

Early notification of an organisation's intention to terminate helps us to provide the appropriate assistance and guidance during the transition period, therefore we do encourage providers to reach out to us regarding this in advance so we may best support your organisation. 

The abovementioned considerations are outlined in this article, as well as information regarding the flexible subscription options available to providers who are terminating. 

Audience: Authorised Representatives, Executive Management, IT Specialist 


Summary

The following list summarises the content of this article. Click on the links below to take you to the relevant sections:


When is a SupportAbility subscription terminated?

The requirement to terminate a SupportAbility subscription may occur in the following instances:

  • Provider initiated - when a provider chooses to terminate their SupportAbility subscription, which may be for a variety of reasons:
    • when service delivery, organisational processes and/or output requirements change, necessitating the change to an alternative system
    • when organisations merge and a SupportAbility subscriber is required to use the other organisation's system/s
    • an organisation is liquidated (no longer operational) 
  • SupportAbility initiated - when SupportAbility has no other option than to terminate a provider's SupportAbility subscription, for example: 
    • when a provider fails to pay their subscription fees within a reasonable period

      N.B. This action is only ever taken as a very last resort and every opportunity is sought to communicate with the provider and explore all options available prior to this. 

      This is one of the reasons we encourage providers to communicate with us as soon as possible if any financial constraints are being experienced, or if they are considering termination or if this appears inevitable. 

      It is important to note that SupportAbility reserves the right to withhold final data extracts until all outstanding invoices have been settled, and the  Subscription Termination Authorisation form has been returned.

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Initiating a subscription termination

We recommend providers contact SupportAbility as soon as they are considering terminating their subscription, even if the decision to terminate has not been finalised. We hold no prejudices in these instances and are committed to providing ongoing support and guidance until your subscription has ended. 

Once we receive notification of the intention to terminate a subscription, one of our Customer Success team will call to clarify your organisation's requirements and provide guidance and support accordingly. 

We have assisted a number of providers to manage a broad range of requirements when terminating, and we are most happy to assist your organisation with a smooth transition. 

The termination discussion will review the most appropriate timeline for terminating your SupportAbility subscription, flexible subscription extension options, considerations for storing and accessing data once the installation is taken permanently offline, and when data extracts will be required.

One of your organisation's priorities at this time will be ensuring the continuity of operational processes during the transition period.  This will influence the timeline of the transition and how the transition will be managed.

Once a termination date has been agreed upon, we require your organisation to complete a Termination Authorisation Form to confirm your decision to terminate your SupportAbility subscription and formalise this process.

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Important considerations

Some key considerations when terminating a SupportAbility subscription:

  • How will historic data be stored?
  • How will access to any required information following termination be facilitated?
  • Will data be transferred to an alternative system and how?
  • Is a limited period, subscription extension required to facilitate the completion of all transition tasks?
  • Is continued access to SupportAbility i.e. as a reference source only, required as a safety net?
  • What is the most appropriate termination date?

More detailed information to assist your organisation with reviewing these considerations has been outlined below for your reference.

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Data extracts and responsibility to store data securely

As a SupportAbility subscriber, an organisation always retains full ownership rights over all of the data entered into SupportAbility, including any uploaded documents. 

To assist providers in meeting both their legal obligations and NDIS requirements, a complete final set of data extracts and document files of everything that has been entered in your SupportAbility installation, is provided at no charge once an installation has been taken permanently offline, or at the time of transition to a stasis subscription, whichever is applicable. 

The responsibility then passes to your organisation, to store all historic information. Consequently, one month following the provision of the final data/document extracts, SupportAbility will destroy this data.

While your organisation may choose to enter some of the data in an alternative system, due consideration will need to be given as to how the full data set will be stored.

Helpful information for health service providers about the management and storage of health information is available on the Australian Government, Office of the Australian Information Commissioner's (OAIC) website for reference and may be accessed here.

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What data is included in the final data/document extracts?

The final data/document extracts include  all of the information and uploaded documents (including photos) that have been entered into your SupportAbility installation. 

They do not include user monitoring logs or deleted records, and partial extracts or specific data only is not able to be provided. 

Each file:

  • is named using a format called a Universally Unique Identifier (UUID) which correlates to the file table in SupportAbility (or file.csv in the extract)
  • can be opened directly using the appropriate application on your computer

The original filename and other metadata associated with each file (such as its document type, expiry date, and other information) are all contained in the database extract files provided.

Specifically, these are the file.csv, document.csv, and document_version.csv data extracts. The file.csv extract, in particular, contains a UUID column which will include the UUID of every file provided in the documents data extract.

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Data Extracts format

The data extract files are provided in both SQL and in CSV format and the SQL includes the database schema. They are, however, essentially in a 'raw' data format, their sole purpose being to import the data into another software system.

Therefore, it is important to note that these files are  not designed to be used by individuals for identifying specific information, due to their format not being user-friendly. 

Please see the following section outlined below for more information,  Digital upload of data.

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Document Extracts format

The information below outlines how to link the Document files with the Database metadata.

The documents archive contains several folders that categorise the documents into each of the following types of document:

  • client-documents
  • client-photos
  • contact-documents
  • dms-documents
  • systemuser-documents
  • ofi-documents
  • incident-investigation-documents
  • incident-injury-documents
  • incident-documents

Within each document type folder, you will find the actual document files.

Each document file uses the following file name convention: <file_uuid>.<file_extension>
eg. 00112233-4455-6677-8899-aabbccddeeff.pdf

The following diagram shows the key document tables and how they relate to each other.

Documents-ERD.pngThe document table contains all of the metadata for all document types. The following fields in this table are useful:

  • documentKindName: The kind of document the record relates to (eg. 'documentkind_clientdocument' is a client document)
  • relatedEntityID: The ID of the parent entity record that the document is attached to (eg. 123 means that the document is attached to the Client Record with the ID of 123 if the document kind is a client document)
  • documentName: The document type (eg. 'NDIS Support Plan')

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Managing data following termination

Determining how data will be stored, managed, and made available following termination of your SupportAbility subscription requires some prior planning. 

From our experience, some providers have found that once they have terminated their subscription, access to historic information has been required for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Compiling data for an NDIS or other audit
  • Internal reporting
  • A future legal matter arising e.g. Payroll dispute
  • Enquiry/investigation

Various options are available to ensure key information is readily accessible when required. Firstly, some of the data could be uploaded to an alternative system so this is available to utilise as required. 

Alternatively, or in addition to this, the many Searches and Reports available in SupportAbility could be utilised prior to your installation being taken offline to export key information in user-friendly CSV files. Please see the following section outlined below for more information. 

We also strongly recommend your organisation obtains legal advice where necessary and consults with executive management to clarify the type of critical information that may be required at a future date and needs to be readily accessible. 

The considerations related to managing data following termination differ depending on whether or not an organisation is transferring data to an alternative system as summarised below. 

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Which Searches and Reports can be utilised to export data in a user-friendly format prior to termination?

When user-friendly data is required, we recommend using the many Searches and Reports available from the Dashboard, Reports and Finance menus to generate the required information prior to your installation being taken offline.  The results can then be exported in user-friendly CSV files and used as a reference source for manual data entry. 

Some of the suggested Searches and Reports which your organisation may find helpful include:

  • Client Search
  • Client Service Participation Report
  • Client Incident Report
  • (Client) Journals Search
  • Client Goal Strategy Search
  • Client Funding Search
  • NDIS Budget Utilisation Search
  • Allocations Report
  • Staff Accounts Search
  • Activity Report
  • Activity Clients Report
  • Activity Staff Report
  • Organisational Accident and Incident Register (AIR) Search

These Searches and Reports will need to be generated by your organisation prior to your installation being taken offline. If additional specific data is required by your organisation please let us know and we would be happy to direct you to the relevant Reports.

Please see the related articles section below for more information about these Searches and Reports for reference. 

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Transferring data to an alternative system

Transitioning to an alternative system is a major change management exercise and based on our experience supporting providers through this transition over the years, is one that often takes up to six months.

One of the first considerations is to determine what data will be stored for historic reference, what data will be required for ongoing operational purposes, and how both will be accessed when required i.e. via digital files or viewing in an alternative system.

If data will be stored in another system, your organisation will need to decide the most suitable and cost-effective method for how data from SupportAbility will be entered into the new system, either via importation of data extract files or manual data entry.

If your organisation is intending to transfer data to an alternative system it is important to consider how this data will be transferred i.e. via digital upload or manual data entry. 

  • Manual data entry - if data will be transferred via manual data entry you will need to:
    • determine what information is required to be entered
    • export the required information to be used as a reference source from SupportAbility before your installation is taken permanently offline
  • Digital upload - if data will be transferred via digital upload you will need to: 
    • Engage with the new vendor to determine if the new system will accept the importation of data i.e. data extracts from SupportAbility, and for assistance mapping the fields of information. 

      N.B. Please note SupportAbility does not provide a service for mapping data fields between systems, however, please let us know if the vendor has any questions or guidance is required as we are happy to assist. 

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Manual data entry

It is important to note that the data extracts provided upon termination are not in a user-friendly format for identifying specific information as they are primarily designed for uploading the data to another system.  They are essentially in a raw data format and the data for several types of records, e.g. Client, Staff and Activity records, is spread across multiple CSV files, making it difficult to locate specific and/or related information.

Therefore they are not a suitable reference source for the purpose of manually entering data into another system.  

In light of this, we recommend using the many Searches and Reports available from the Dashboard, Reports and Finance menus to generate the required information.  The results can then be exported in user-friendly CSV files and used as a reference source for manual data entry as outlined above. 

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Digital upload of SupportAbility data

Importing data extracts into another system requires prior mapping or matching of the fields of information in the data extracts to match the similar fields in your chosen replacement system so that this data can be utilised to meet future specific requirements.

An import script may also need to be written by your new vendor to ensure the SupportAbility data is imported correctly in the required fields in the new system.

We would like to caution, that every CMS system has a very unique data structure, and chances are that you may only be able to import a very small percentage of the SupportAbility data provided into your chosen alternative system. This would need to be clarified with the new vendor. In our experience, the data that can be imported is generally primary data such as Client records, Client Contacts, Journals and maybe Client Service Participation records.

Mapping data fields is a time-consuming and potentially expensive exercise and generally more cost-effective when importing larger volumes of data. Therefore, this option may not be suitable for organisations that have only been using SupportAbility for a short time.

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Determine when SupportAbility data extracts will be required

The timing for the provision of data extracts will be influenced by several factors:

  • When data entry and operations cease in your SupportAbility installation
  • The date your installation will be taken permanently offline
  • Your organisation's subscription end date
  • If planning to digitally upload data to an alternative system, an early set of data/document extracts may be required to map fields between SupportAbility and the new system in readiness.

Data/Document Extracts can be provided either prior to or after your SupportAbility installation has been taken offline, relevant to the aforementioned factors: 

  • Prior to your SupportAbility installation being taken offline
    • An additional set of data or data/document extracts can be provided for the purpose of mapping fields of information to an alternative system, please review the next section for further details. 
    • The final set of data/document extracts can be provided at this time, if all data entry and edits are intended to cease prior to an installation being taken permanently offline.
  • After your SupportAbility installation has been taken offline      
    • A full set of data extracts and document files are provided at no charge once an installation has been taken permanently offline. 
      • Generally, this is all that is required when your organisation is not digitally uploading the data extracts to an alternative system.

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An additional set of data extracts to assist with data mapping prior to your SupportAbility installation being taken offline

To assist your organisation and the new vendor map information fields between the two systems, while retaining access to SupportAbility, an additional set of data/document extracts can be provided for a fee  prior to going offline. 

The following options are available:

  • Data Extract only
    • This option is more cost-efficient than extracting data and documents, and it is often only data extracts that are required for mapping fields of information
  • Data and Document Extracts
    • The cost of extracting document files is dependent on the volume of documents in an installation, whereby anything above 30GB will attract a higher fee. The volume of documents is displayed for reference in System Preferences::Settings::Document and Photo Storage.
      Your organisation or the new vendor may, however, still wish to review the format of the document files at this time, for future reference.

It is important to note that the final set of data/document extracts includes  all data since commencement. The final data/document extracts cannot be limited to only include the data that has been entered/edited since the date of any earlier extracts taken from your installation. 

Identifying any changes from the data already received is the responsibility of your organisation, and is not a service provided by SupportAbility. 

If Data/Document extracts are required prior to your SupportAbility installation being taken offline, the following timeframe is applicable:

  • A minimum of two days notice is required e.g. a provider notifies SupportAbility on a Tuesday
  • The cut-off date and time for all data entry to be included in the data extracts is 11.00 pm the following day
    e.g. no data should be entered after 11.00 pm on Wednesday 
  • Secure links and passwords to the data extracts will be notified to the provider two days later e.g. Friday morning

This additional set of extracts contains everything entered in an organisation's installation from commencement to the cut-off date and time for data entry.

N.B. Staff can continue to use SupportAbility during this time i.e. enter information and generate outputs, however, all data entered/edited after the cut-off date and time will not be included in these extracts.

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Assistance transitioning between systems

When terminating a SupportAbility subscription, managing the transition to an alternative system is the responsibility of the organisation and its new vendor.

This includes the mapping of data fields between the SupportAbility data extracts and the new system, specifically when planning to digitally upload the data extracts from SupportAbility to the new system. 

We recommend an organisation discusses this in detail with their internal IT support and/or the new vendor prior to terminating their SupportAbility subscription. The aim of this discussion would be to clarify which of the fields of information can be imported to the new system to meet future needs, how this will be managed, and determine a suitable transition period for mapping and uploading the data to the new system while retaining access to SupportAbility.

SupportAbility may be able to assist by providing some guidance, however, each situation will need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. 

While we are most happy to assist where we can, we ask that your organisation and the new vendor first review the data/document extracts provided for this purpose, as outlined in the section above, and formulate a list of questions for efficiency, prior to our meeting.

All such requests should be submitted via email to support@supportability.com.au so we can review your organisation's requirements and determine if we are able to assist.  It is important to note that this level of support may incur additional charges.

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Considerations when data is not being transferred to an alternative system

If data is not being transferred to an alternative system, your organisation will need to decide how this data will be stored and accessed for future use. 

  • Determine what information may need to be accessed following termination - your organisation will need to consider what data Staff Members will need immediate access to e.g. Client information, and key data that auditors and investigators may potentially need to query at a future date e.g. payroll information
  • Export the relevant information prior to your installation being taken offline - the data extracts contain raw data formatted specifically for uploading the data to another system and therefore are not easily navigable. 

    We, therefore, recommend, exporting key data that may be required at a later date from your SupportAbility installation prior to it being taken offline.  The CSV files exported from Searches/Reports are user-friendly and formatted so information can be easily identified.
  • Determine who in the organisation will be responsible for storing historic data - for example, will this be the responsibility of the IT Department or Operations?
  • Determine how historic data will be stored securely - final data/document extract files only, or additional Search/Report CSV export files for future access as required

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Subscription options when terminating

The standard SupportAbility subscription terms are for an annual period, however, when a provider is terminating their subscription, we offer several flexible options for extending your subscription for a limited period.

Subscription extensions are designed to assist an organisation during the transition period by providing ongoing access to SupportAbility, either for reference purposes or preserving continuity of operational processes while transitioning to an alternative system.

Subscription extension options include:

  • 6-month subscription - full operational access to SupportAbility for multiple users
  • Annual ‘stasis mode’ subscription - limited read-only terms for a single user. More information about these terms has been outlined below.

N.B. If an organisation wishes to take up one of these flexible subscription options or subsequent extensions are required, we require advance notification of this prior to the end of the current subscription period. 

Many providers have found the subscription extension option (e.g. 3 or 6-month period) beneficial as this provides ongoing access to SupportAbility during the transition period, thereby facilitating continuity of operations and/or access to key information while completing all transition tasks.  

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Annual Stasis Mode Subscription

The 'Stasis' mode subscription is offered specifically for the purpose of providing an organisation with ready access to their historic data, for reference purposes only, once they have terminated their standard SupportAbility subscription. 

The applicable terms for a stasis mode subscription are as follows:

  • The subscription terms are annual and the annual fees are to be paid upfront.
  • The annual fee is $4,000 p.a + GST, however, this fee may vary when SupportAbility is maintaining particularly large volumes of data on behalf of an organisation.
  • Access is restricted to one active user account only. This access may however be shared across multiple users.

    N.B. It is possible to share login access with multiple users with a stasis subscription as SupportAbility is being used purely for reference purposes only. This is different to when SupportAbility is being used for operational purposes where each user requires their unique individual login so their actions can be tracked where necessary.
  • This service is to be used for reference purposes only, not for operational use e.g. not for recording Journal evidence, generating billing assets, or rostering etc. 
    It is, however, absolutely fine to add 'Tags' and/or 'Bookmarks' to records to manage the data, or to generate searches or reports for identifying any required information.
  • Customer and Engineering Support is not provided with this type of subscription.

The following actions would need to be completed by your organisation prior to the commencement of this type of subscription:

  • Provide us with the name and contact details of the person who will be the sole user during this period
  • Ensure all Staff Accounts, other than the sole user, are deactivated. SupportAbility can assist with this process where required.
  • Grant the relevant access privileges to this single user relative to the level of access you wish this person to have.  For example, your organisation may choose not to grant the 'Delete records' privilege to ensure all historic data is preserved.

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Determining a suitable Termination date

The Termination Date as stated in the Termination Authorisation Form is defined as:

  • the end date of the final paid subscription period, for a subscription with full operational terms

    and
  • the date your organisation's installation will be taken permanently offline (whereby no further access will be possible) or the date your organisation transitions to a stasis mode subscription if applicable (whereby limited read-only access applies).

When determining a suitable Termination date we recommend consideration is given to ensuring the transition period will provide adequate access to SupportAbility for one or more of the following purposes:

  • continuing to manage operations in SupportAbility until alternative processes are up and running e.g. processing Staff Time Sheets, generating Payroll data, or generating billing assets such as NDIS Bulk Payment Requests (BPRs) or Direct Invoice Batches, if relevant
  • maintaining SupportAbility as a reference source for critical information while transitioning processes and/or systems
  • accessing information that may be required for one of the following purposes during the transition period: an NDIS or other audit, internal monthly reporting. 

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Summary of the steps involved in the Termination Process

The termination process includes the following steps:

  1. Provider notifies SupportAbility of their intention to terminate their SupportAbility subscription
  2. A member of our Customer Success team contacts your organisation to discuss your requirements and provide guidance around key considerations when terminating
  3. SupportAblity updates its customer support and billing records accordingly and forwards the Termination Authorisation form for completion
  4. Provider completes and returns the Termination Authorisation form to formalise the termination and set a termination date
  5. (optional) SupportAbility provides an early set of data/document extracts if required and as arranged, prior to the organisation's installation being taken permanently offline, generally for the purpose of mapping fields of information when planning to digitally upload this data to an alternative system 
  6. SupportAbility takes the provider's installation permanently offline on the agreed termination date, or, the provider transitions to stasis mode with single-user access if this has been arranged
  7. SupportAbility provides the final data/document extracts within five working days following the installation being taken permanently offline or transitioning to stasis mode 
  8. Provider downloads the data/document files and confirms successful downloading of these files
  9. SupportAbility destroys ALL data relating to the organisation's installation, thirty days after the final data/document extract links have been provided. 
    N.B. If an organisation is transitioning to a stasis mode subscription, only the data/document extract files are deleted, not the installation data.

Detailed information outlining the steps of the termination process is covered in  The Termination Process article linked below for reference.

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