Foundations | Client Information | Planning

Now that Foundations | Configuration has been completed and Foundations | Staff Accounts have been created, your organisation is now ready to create Client records and commence entering Client information. 

We recommend building a solid foundation of information regarding the Client's your organisation supports including: 

  • Creating Client records with comprehensive personal information, along with relevant medical & support information (Client Details) 
  • Uploading key 'Client Documents'
  • Entering 'Client Goals & Goal Strategies' 
  • Recording ongoing support evidence via case notes (Client Journals) 

Comprehensive Client records assist your organisation to best support Clients based on their needs. This will enable SupportAbility to become your organisation's primary support tool, ensuring that all Client-related information is readily accessible to Staff when working with Clients.   

Planning is the key for a successful implementation, and we recommend that time is taken to strategise your approach prior to commencing data entry. Staff tasked with creating Client records require a thorough understanding of what information needs to be included and when. To assist you with planning, we have put together this guide which includes important considerations for review. Ultimately, however, your organisation is best positioned to determine the most suitable strategy, due to having an in-depth understanding of the Clients you support, the various Services you deliver, and the information and outputs required.  

Click on the links below to take you to the relevant sections within this article:


Determining your strategy 

What information should be entered?

A helpful place to begin strategising your approach to entering Client information is to determine what information Staff regularly require to effectively support the Clients they work with, and what information is required to meet your organisational reporting requirements and NDIS compliance obligations.

Some important considerations include: 

  • What prior configuration needs to be completed in SupportAbility, in order for the options relevant to your organisation to be available for selection in SupportAbility when entering Client information.
  • What is the key Client information Staff require access to in SupportAbility for each of the Services your organisation delivers. N.B. This may differ between Services. e.g. Day Services and Support Co-ordination.
  • What Client information should be entered and where will it be entered in SupportAbility i.e. which fields/tabs, to best meet your organisation's requirements.
  • What does an ideal Client record look like to ensure:
    • all the information Staff require is readily accessible
    • the data entered in SupportAbility can be utilised to generate outputs such as reports, Client Schedules, Emergency Information Forms, etc.
    • Client information is current, accurate, and relevant to meet your organisation's obligations under the NDIS.

Each area of Client information is outlined below to assist your organisation in determining your strategy. This includes strategic considerations, along with links to more detailed guides regarding the related functionality. 

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Client Details

Personal Client information, Medical/Disability/Behavioural information, Consent, and Client Contact information are all recorded in 'Client Details', comprised of the Client Details, Status and Contacts tabs in the Client record. 

Strategic considerations
  • Decide what information should be entered by Staff into the following tabs of the Client record: Client Details, Status, Contacts. N.B. Not all fields will be relevant to your organisation.
  • Create an example Client record as a reference tool, leaving those fields which are not relevant or required by your organisation, blank. 
  • Ensure Staff tasked with this data entry have access to the required Client information.
Detailed guide

Foundations | Client Details article (linked below)

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Client Documents

Important Client Documents such as an NDIS Plan, Intake form, Consent form, Photo, Behaviour Plan, Medication Administration form, etc. may be uploaded and managed from the Documents tab in the Client record . 

Strategic considerations
  • What format are Client Documents currently stored in? Hard copy or digital?
    • Consider if any Client Documents will need to be digitised and your plan to manage this.
  • Which Client Documents may need to be archived, versus which information is current, relevant and requires regular access and therefore uploaded to the Client record.
  • Ensure 'Documents' have been configured correctly in System Preferences. N.B. This was a requirement of Foundations | Configuration
    • 'Document Types' must be specific and relevant to your organisation in preparation for Staff uploading Documents to Client records.
    • If 'Compulsory' Documents are required, ensure these have been configured appropriately and consider how Staff will be instructed regarding this. 
  • Determine which of the following related features are required, and if so how they will be utilised: 
    • Document Types 
    • Notification - Due/Review Date and Staff Member to Notify
    • Security settings - 'Managers Only' and the ability to lock Documents to a specific Service
  • Which Staff are best tasked with uploading Documents to Client records and when should these be uploaded?
Detailed guide

Foundations | Client Documents article (linked below)

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Client Goals

Client's Goals as per their NDIS Plan, and Goal Strategies indicating how Service delivery will support Clients to achieve these Goals can be entered and managed in the Goals tab of the Client record.

Strategic considerations
  • Determine how Client Goals will be recorded in SupportAbility and which fields are required for completion in the Goal record. 
  • Consider how Goal Strategies are best structured to reflect how your organisation is supporting the Client toward this Goal and what information should be recorded.
  • Give thought to tracking Goal progress via Assessments (completed in Client Journals). Do the Goal evaluation levels 1-10 meet your organisation's requirements or do they require configuration? 
  • If your organisation delivers specialised Services i.e. Support Coordination and/or NDIS Financial Plan Management, decide if and how Client Goals could be utilised to meet the specific requirements of each Service. 
  • How will the Staff tasked with entering Client Goals and Goal Strategies be trained in what is required? Note the example Client record may be a perfect resource for this. 
Detailed guide

Foundations | Client Goals & Goal Strategies article (linked below)

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Client Journals

Client Journals detail all interactions with Clients, and evidence ongoing support which assists them toward their Goals. These may be recorded and managed from the Journal tab in the Client record. 

Strategic considerations
  • To ensure Staff have all of the information they require to support Clients, consider if any historic case notes may need to be digitised and/or uploaded as a Client Document. 
  • Ensure Journals have been configured correctly in System Preferences. N.B. This was a requirement of Foundations | Configuration
    • 'Journal Types' must be specific and relevant to your organisation in preparation for Staff entering Journals in Client records.
    • Journal 'Templates' may be created to assist Staff with entering the correct information. If required, ensure these have been created for the most frequently used Journal Types.
  • Determine which of the following related features are required, and if so how they will be utilised: 
    • Journal Types 
    • Privacy Controls of 'Team Leaders' or 'Managers Only' 
    • Linking to a Client Goal and/or a Goal Strategy
    • Entering a 'Goal Progress Assessment' score
    • Journal Actions
  • Staff will need to be educated regarding what information needs to be documented and how often Client Journal evidence is required. This must be considered in relation to meeting your organisation's compliance requirements under NDIS. 
Detailed guide

Foundations | Client Journals article (linked below)

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Who will be responsible for entering this information

The experience other providers have shared with us is that the most successful implementations are those where the entry of Client records and information is performed by the end users; Support workers and Staff who will be using SupportAbility.  This is for several reasons including Staff familiarity with your organisation's processes, Clients and their information; but also data entry is an effective system training opportunity and helps expedite the data entry process.

Centralising data entry to only a few people potentially extends the duration of time it takes to complete data entry of Client information thus delaying deployment organisation-wide; it limits system knowledge to a select few and monopolises these resources from other responsibilities for an extended period. 

Outsourcing to an external third party or assigning the key responsibility to temporary Staff creates issues of dependency on external supports, loss of knowledge and expertise when temporary staff leave, and entrusting the process to someone who does not have the depth of understanding of your business to align system utilisation with organisational policies and procedures.

These approaches to completing Foundations are discussed further in the Foundations | Client Information | Data Entry Approaches article (linked below). 

It may also be helpful to delegate data entry tasks according to Staff roles and responsibilities and allocate time and resources in addition to their standard duties.

We have listed below some suggestions regarding which Staff members might manage different areas of Client information, however, this is best determined by your organisation: 

  • Staff who work closely with Client's and have access to their records & information are usually those tasked with entering this information into SupportAbility, along with uploading Client Documents. 
  • Staff who perform intake or review NDIS plans could possibly enter Client Goals as they are working directly with the Client's NDIS Plan which outlines the Client's Goals in Part two of the Plan. 
  • Alternatively, Team Leaders may be better suited to entering Client Goals. Staff at this level are often tasked with entering Goal Strategies to map how service delivery will assist Clients to meet these Goals.
  • Support workers and Staff working directly with Clients, who traditionally record case notes, usually enter Client Journals and link these to Client Goals & Goal Strategies as evidence of ongoing support.

It is important that all roles and responsibilities are clearly mapped and communicated to all Staff involved. 

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How will data entry be managed

How data entry of Client information will be managed is best determined by your organisation taking into consideration available resources, and the timelines for when your organisation wishes all Staff to be using SupportAbility as their primary support tool, for all Client-related information.

Important considerations include:

  • Whether each of the four key areas of Client information (Client Details, Client Documents, Client Goals, and Client Journals) will be completed sequentially, or simultaneously.
    • If your organisation selects to enter all areas of Client Information simultaneously, then greater resources may be required to achieve this, and the process may be assisted by different Staff managing each of the areas of Client Information, relative to their roles, as outlined in the previous section.
  • Plan for data-entry to be distributed across multiple Staff e.g. each Staff member is responsible for creating a few Client records and entering the Client Information.
  • Some organisations prefer to limit the number of Staff who can create Client records for the purpose of reducing the potential for 'blank' Client records to be created, and provide greater control over who can create Client records.
    • If your organisation chooses to restrict the creation of Client records only to those Staff who have been granted the 'Team Leader' privilege, this can be enforced by turning on the relevant setting (Only Team Leaders can create Client records) in System Preferences::Settings. More information about this configuration is outlined in the Foundations | Configuration article (linked below).  
  • Either Admin Staff or Team Leaders could create the 'shell' of all Client records and then assign other Staff to complete the data entry of specific information related to their roles. Bookmarks can be used to assign these tasks, and a notification will appear on the relevant Staff member's Dashboard as a reminder to complete the task.
  • Allocate adequate time for Staff to perform this task in addition to their standard duties.
    • Noting the first record will always take a bit longer, as Staff will need to familiarise themselves with this new system and process.
  • A strategy is required regarding how Staff will be trained regarding how your organisation has chosen to use SupportAbility. 

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Staff Training

Staff training in the use of SupportAbility is the responsibility of your organisation and critically underpins both Staff uptake of using SupportAbility and ensuring the accuracy and comprehensiveness of information entered. 

Helpful considerations regarding Staff training include:

  • Determine a strategy for communicating to all Staff the 'why', 'what', 'how' and 'when' of SupportAbility, including the chosen strategy for entering Client information.
  • We highly recommend creating a couple of example Client records displaying the information Staff must complete, leaving unnecessary fields blank.
    • Example Client records are not only a useful reference tool but also provide an excellent opportunity for learning and testing functionality as your organisation progresses through implementation.
  • We recommend early involvement with SupportAbility by all Staff through the data entry process to build familiarity.
    • Some Staff who are less familiar with systems may benefit from working with a buddy who is more confident with systems until they build their knowledge, experience, and confidence.
  • What training resources in addition to the articles and videos provided by SupportAbility will be required. E.g. an organisational how-to guide covering the 'what', 'how' and 'where' of entering Client information.
    • Some organisations create their own learning guides specifically referencing the fields of information requiring completion for your organisation.
  • Many organisations choose to run introductory training sessions focusing on the basics of logging in, and referencing the sample Client record, then refer Staff to the learning videos in the Client Management section of SupportAbility's Learning Centre, for more detailed information which facilitates self-paced learning. 
  • Decide and communicate on the final cut-off date for recording Client information outside of SupportAbility. 

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