Talking Matters Sefton (TMS) is part of the national Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme. It is a free, confidential service designed to help anyone aged over 16 in the South Sefton, Southport, and Formby areas to deal with common mental health difficulties. These may include depression, anxiety, panic, phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or post-traumatic stress disorder. The service is overseen by the organisation Mental Health Matters, who recognised that their current setup did not meet the needs of Talking Matters Sefton and reached out to Pragmatiq.
“This project is a great example of how standard features within the Power Platform can be leveraged to help structure and automate processes to reduce manual work and eliminate inefficiencies in an organisation. For this client, it was extra important, as the time saved means people who need mental health support are now able to be seen quicker. We are proud that we could support Talking Matters Sefton with this project.”
Due to the nature of Mental Health Matters, the organisation must use IAPTUS; a specially designed system to deal with the majority of their services. However, it lacked configurability and did not match the specific needs of Talking Matters Sefton, post the initial referral where technology and automation were required to execute the preassessment process.
Referrals are an incredibly important part of Talking Matters Sefton’s process and are also time-sensitive, as people are being referred due to mental health challenges and need support as soon as possible. Previously, this was a time-consuming and manual process which sometimes resulted in a backlog of referrals.
As part of the referral process, clients had to answer a preassessment questionnaire, which was previously managed by an internal resource, to arrange to speak to the client in person/over the phone. Due to the manual nature of this task, it often resulted in the client not being seen as quickly as they could be.
Talking Matters Sefton required a system that could automate and support this process. Questionnaires need to be sent to clients, with the responses and relevant data coming back into Microsoft Dynamics 365, alongside a prioritised queue of clients that need to be dealt with as a matter of urgency.
The need for this solution was immediate and it was crucial that Pragmatiq could deliver within a matter of weeks.
We implemented a solution built on Microsoft Power Apps, to manage the referral process. The solution allows Talking Matters to automatically send a Customer Voice survey (preassessment questionnaire) to a new client referral. Once filled in and submitted, the response then feeds back into their Dynamics 365 System, creating a prioritised worklist for staff members to onboard new clients onto the service.
To trigger this process, every day Talking Matters exports data from IAPTUS and imports it into Dynamics 365. The automation then kicks in to automatically send the survey to referrals via email or SMS, depending on what information is provided.
This eliminated the manual effort that was previously required around the surveys and significantly cut down the time between the initial referral and the follow-up.
We also created a customisation in the existing Dynamics 365 system that presents high-level information against a client referral record, enabling staff to see at a glance those who are more at-risk.
Additionally, different views were introduced in the system to enable internal staff to get an overview of the various stages that referrals were in and act on these as required.
Through the implementation of our proposed solution, the following benefits were realised:
- Quick resolution to an urgent need – Talking Matters approached Pragmatiq with an urgent need for the solution, in order to quickly manage a backlog of referrals and provide a systemised process for future. The Microsoft Power Apps platform provided a quick resolution, allowing the solution to be rolled out in just 3 weeks.
- Increased visibility – Key information is now displayed against the referral record, enabling users to clearly identify the needs of a client and the stage of the process they are in, to identify clients that need urgent attention.
- Timely response to referrals – As a result of the custom solution, Talking Matters Sefton saves considerable time on administration tasks around the referral process and has reduced their lead time by half. Due to the automation, clients now receive a preassessment questionnaire upon submitting a referral, rather than waiting for this to be manually arranged and processed.
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