Case Study: Phipps Neighborhoods
- Replaced off-the-shelf case management system with customized solution
- Aggregated agency data, while also collecting unique data by program
- Enabled analysis of program results over time through assessments
"We wanted a system that gave us a good foundation, but also enough room to continue to grow as an organization. We knew that our programs were going to be changing as we took on new initiatives, and we need to have that leeway with our system." — Roxanne Delaney, Associate Director for Policy and Evaluation, Phipps Neighborhoods
Phipps Neighborhoods has provided education, career, and community resource programs to the South Bronx for over 40 years. The organization helps children and families overcome poverty by focusing their work in neighborhoods where they can support families with a comprehensive approach.
Diverse program tracking capabilities
With 30+ programs, Phipps Neighborhoods was struggling to make their existing off-the-shelf case management software work for their diverse programs. After spending a year focusing on training and additional customization, Roxanne Delaney, Associate Director for Policy and Evaluation, said Neighborhoods was still “fitting a square peg into a round hole.” They needed a system that would allow them to customize data collection by program.
Due to their existing software, staff weren’t able to record data in a consistent way. They often tracked their program’s data in spreadsheets or only in their siloed funder-mandated systems. Pulling all the data together for aggregate reporting – allowing them to see their complete impact on clients or to evaluate the agency as a whole – was a monumental task.
Flexible, but precise security functionality
Some data generated from Phipps Neighborhoods’ programs is HIPAA-protected. The organization wanted to only share this personal information with specific program staff, but it did want to share general program participation data across the organization.
Exponent Case Management provided Neighborhoods with the core requirements of a case management solution, including intake, assessment, and reporting. In addition to these features, Phipps Neighborhoods highly valued Exponent Case Management’s configurability that allowed the system to be tailored to each programs bucket—education, career, and community resources. With field-level security, Phipps Neighborhoods was able to guard HIPAA-protected information while still sharing appropriate data across programs.
Simplified workflow equals better data
Phipps Neighborhoods’ Exponent Case Management system was configured to offer one intake form that included the general agency intake and program-specific questions. Allowing staff members to save time by filling out one form rather than two has encouraged staff to use the system. The improved data has led to greater transparency and accountability for program results.
Progress measurement over time
Delaney cited the ability to measure students’ progress through assessments in their high school equivalency programs as one of the most valuable features. She commented, “These programs were at critical points where we had to make decisions in order to improve them. It was hard to see grade gains, grade losses, and what factors were contributing to a student’s development through data on spreadsheets. Exponent Case Management allowed us to see how effective our curriculum and teaching has been, so we can course-correct or do targeted one-on-one tutoring as needed. That has been pivotal for us.“
A foundation for the future
Phipps Neighborhoods prepared extensively ahead of choosing Exponent Case Management to determine how they would customize it. However, they also knew that their programs would evolve. The flexibility and configurability of Exponent Case Management offered them the ability to adapt the system as their data and measurement needs changed.