I’m always intrigued by the possibilities of new technologies and how they change how we do business, and change competitive advantage. What caught my eye this time is new software that reminds me of the online matching programs that help single people meet their future spouse. The program is call Every Child A Priority (ECAP), and it is a new web-based decision support tool to assist child welfare organizations in locating the best possible non-relative foster family match, for children in need of placement (see Foster Care Technologies Launches To Bring Foster Care Family-Matching Software To Market).
Earlier this year, non-profit TFI Family Services, Inc. and the University of Kansas Bioscience & Technology Business Center (BTBC) signed an operating agreement to form a new company, Foster Care Technologies, LLC that will market and support ECAP. ECAP (originally developed in 2010, and validated in 2013 by research conducted by the School of Social Welfare at the University Of Kansas, see Summary of ECAP Research Findings) uses a combination of advanced statistical analysis and technology to match foster children with homes that are more likely to meet their particular needs. It is based on an assessment of each child, and the preferences and capabilities of an agency’s foster homes (providers).
The assessment, which is called the Appropriate Placement Level Indicator (APLI), is used to match each child with a ranked list of providers that are most likely to be able to meet each child’s needs. And it’s meeting with success – children in the model moved less often, and more days of care were provided per placement move after the ECAP implementation. There was an overall improvement of 22.5%, with 387.8 days of care provided per move to the Post-ECAP group compared to only 316.5 days for the Pre-ECAP group.
This is not an endorsement of the ECAP software – but rather an observation on how technology is likely to change our field. For a look at other approaches to “consumer matching”, check out Cariloop, which matches seniors with senior care facilities and health care providers. Or the company, Vitals, which styles itself on matching consumers with the right doctor from over 1.8 million health care providers, using three million patient reviews. And we are already familiar with the idea of ranking providers for to help consumer selection (see More Public Provider Rankings, What Is Your Quality Ranking?, and National Consumer Health Care Ratings Have Arrived).
I love this idea, and I think it’s a good example of how innovative use of technology can change how provider organizations do business. Over the past few years, we’ve covered many of these new technologies – and here is a quick list in case you’ve missed them:
- A Peek At Some Of The New Treatment Technology
- The Seven Tech ‘Types’
- ‘Must Consider’ Technology
- New Remote Monitoring Applications
- Relapse Prevention Is The New Tech Frontier
I will keep you posted on how this product and other innovative systems are being used to enhance services in the health and human service field. The key in the meantime will be to embrace the idea that services can be delivered more efficiently and effectively with the appropriate new technology. For more, join us in Washington, D.C. on November 5 when Simon Dudley delivers his presentation, Innovative & Disruptive Technologies – How The Power Of Technology Is Transforming Service Delivery Around The World.