The 2nd Annual Community Information Exchange Summit was held in April 2019 in San Diego. This year’s theme was Driving Cross-Sector Collaboration and Data Sharing to Create Healthier Communities, with presentations, panels and discussions focused around best practices in data sharing infrastructure, stakeholder engagement and other issues related to care coordination.
211 LA’s Client Services Manager, Myieko Clayton, was invited to participate in a panel discussion on Driving Cross-Sector Innovations through Community Engagement and Data Sharing Partnerships with representatives from the Magnolia Community Initiative (MCI), a place-based collaborative of health and social service organizations near the University of Southern California campus in Los Angeles.
211 LA started their partnership with MCI during the development of their collaborative, multi-sector program. MCI’s program covers 500 blocks of the Magnolia Catchment Area in Los Angeles. This effort brought together 75 multi-sector organizations to create large-scale community change through the “Community Level Change” model.
In order for this model to be successful, MCI needed technology that would allow for secure data sharing, referral tracking, and collaborative case management across the partner organizations. 211 LA developed a customizable software called CareLinQ to accomplish these deliverables.
During the panel, Myieko presented to individuals across sectors on the intersection of social services and technology through CareLinQ, and how the development of this tool has been able to support MCI and other social service partnerships in establishing effective multi-stakeholder and interdisciplinary collaborative programs.
Myieko has shared her responses to the panel questions below:
Q: How has your role impacted the process or outcomes of programs using the Community Level Change Model?:
A: When an initiative begins to take shape it’s hard to predict what the final outcome of this process or journey will look like. Often times, I find myself sitting in a room full of stakeholders, all who serve a different purpose within an initiative, discussing the key elements of an initiative. It is my role to take all of the moving pieces, such as the initiative’s mission, processes and workflows of the different stakeholders, and the desired outcomes to find a common ground. Once the common ground is identified, I then determine where the complexity of the initiative meets the flexibility of the software system. This allows the initiative to continue to take shape free of concern that the software system will cause limitations as they grow.
Q: How have technology or tools changed or evolved in response to the needs and desires of the organizations and residents using it?
A: As partnerships grow and users dive deep into the work of the initiative, evolution of the initiative is inevitable, and technology systems need to expect this and be adaptable. Once users begin to use the technology and understand how it helps or impacts their efforts, they are able to share their experience to mold or influence the future versions of that system. The most important factor to advancing a system is being able to receive and accept feedback, especially from the individuals or organizations that use it frequently.
The best part of my role is to take those shared experiences, and work to understand if this experience is siloed to a specific group of users or is it something that most users encounter, and then come up with a solution. The solution can be anything from a new feature to a new functionality, but most of all it’s to enhance the user’s ability to continue providing the best service.
Q: What was one big asset to getting this work going or keeping it going?
A: One of the biggest assets to beginning the work is creating strong partner relationships. By creating strong partner relationships it’s easy to continue to do the work, but also to facilitate the conversations around creating an agreement regarding the parameters of shared data and outcomes.
Q: What was one big challenge to getting this work going or keeping it going?
A: One of the biggest challenges in getting the work going is not having the ability to predict what will and won’t work, whether it’s on a program level or a system level. Sometimes we can use the best practices on implementing a program or system but then suddenly the requirements of that program change and the system will have to do the same.
Once the work is going, we can run into other issues that range from not having enough resources to barriers accessing those resources. The system should be able to support these disparities and even provide you the necessary data to tell that story in which a lot of systems currently don’t.
Q: How is data owned or shared with the community -- which has provided the data and is most impacted by participation?
A: A main commonality between most systems large and small is being able to use the platform to collect data. However that data is collected, whether it’s from dealing with a client directly, collecting information about resources, or tracking barriers and service process, the data tells a story.
Once that story is curated, the data can be shared with the community in multiple facets. At 211 LA, we’ve shared our data publicly on our website through an interactive dashboard where community residents can select multiple options and filters to create their own data story and obtain answers. For our partners, we’ve created a reporting portal where they can access their own data and also curate their own stories. Also, recently we live streamed a presentation for a new interactive dashboard for service providers who are curious about their community impact. Data is malleable and depending on the audience the way you share the data can be tailored.