In 2003, when a group of Kansas City community leaders came together to discuss how to provide the best possible care to the people they serve, it was discovered that they all faced similar challenges:
· Many people had multiple complicating factors that were obstacles to
recovery/healing (e.g. mental health, physical health, housing, employment).
· With minimal coordination and tracking, people easily fell through the cracks when
trying to navigate "the system."
· It was difficult to ensure standardized care and collect reliable data on outcomes.
· The technology available to address these hurdles was expensive, difficult to use, and
did not address the unique needs of people-serving nonprofits.
To address these hurdles, these community leaders created the Family Recovery Coalition (FRC). Their vision was to create a longitudinal electronic health record for each client that would:
· Streamline access to services
· Coordinate a continuum of care
· Standardize and professionalize services
· Gather data that could be used to improve the quality of services, advocate for
resources, and report back to funders and governing bodies
Partnering with the technology nonprofit, Community Resource Network, the eight agencies that made up FRC included: three transitional housing programs; Women’s Employment Network; National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence; The Children’s Place; and Family Drug Court of Jackson County.
FRC secured funding from Robert Wood Johnson Local Initiative Funding Partners (LIFP) and created a hybrid Electronic Behavioral Health Record and Community Information Exchange.
To ensure the technology was a helpful tool rather than a burden, FRC included Clinical/Program Directors, Case Managers/Counselors and other end users in establishing specifications. An intuitive, simple interface for users was paramount to successful implementation.
Over the next decade, FRC built Community CareLink (CCL) and Mobile CCL, a portal through which individuals could use a mobile device or computer to access health records, complete assignments, and communicate with service providers in a secure environment.
In 2009 Missouri KidsFirst implemented Children's CareLink using CCL, linking eleven child advocacy centers that serve more than 7,000 children each year. With CCL these centers work together as well as collaborate with law enforcement, Child Protection Services, mental health professionals, medical professionals, victim advocates, and Prosecuting Attorneys' offices.
In 2010 Jackson County COMBAT implemented COMBAT Connections using CCL. The network connects over 30 agencies, enabling them to provide a coordinated continuum of care and track outcomes in Jackson County.
Today CCL is providing solutions that transform the way communities across the U.S. provide whole-person care and track population health data. CCL's developers continue to work with end users to reduce paper work, enhance the ability to collect and leverage data, and, most importantly, raise the level of consistent care. And with roots as a nonprofit, CCL remains committed to creating software solutions that are affordable for nonprofits.