Client Data Toolkit: Customizing

Functional Requirements: What Does Your System Need To Do?

Once you have assembled your project team, written the scope document, and analyzed your workflow, it is time to create the Functional Requirements. This is a list of features that you want in your Client Data Management System. A broad general overview list of features is often referred to as the "High Level Requirements". If you are given your list to a consultant or database developer, they will probably need a more detailed list with very specific descriptions of each feature.

The following list can be used to generate ideas for your own list. You probably won't need all of the features on this list. But you will certainly need some of them. And it's worth taking the time to go through every feature to consider whether you will need it either now, later or never. Depending on the client data management system you currently have, and your vision for what you would like, your completed Functional Requirements list may be short, medium or long.

Possible functional requirements for a Client Data Management System:

Case Management
Client Aftercare and Follow-Up
Client Assessments
Client Benefits Determination
Client Compliance
Client Demographics
Client Discharge
Client Eligibility Determination
Client Medication Tracking
Client Objectives and Interventions
Client Outcome Tracking
Client Prognosis
Client Progress Notes
Client Registration
Client Treatment Plan
Contact Management
Document Management

Clinic Management
Clinical Reminders and Alerts
Disclosure Requests
Information & Referral Reference
Provider Caseload Management
Provider Licensure Tracking
Provider Time Tracking

Medical Billing
Client Billing Data
Client Financial Determination
Client Insurance Management
Client Service Capture

Program Evaluation
Custom Reporting Tool
Service Utilization Analysis
Outcome and Evaluation Reports

Infrastructure & Interface
Customization of Data Entry Froms
Data Import and Export
Data Migration
HIPAA Security

Data Model for a Client Data Management System

This toolkit includes a generic data model for the client services database of a Torture Treatment Center. This model is a generic representaion of the type of data that might be used by a Torture Treatment Center providing direct client care services. There are thirty-one tables used for client demographics.

  • One main client table called T_Client.
  • Fifteen related client tables beginning with T_Client.
  • Thirty code tables used to lookup information in drop-down boxes.
  • The T_Client table stores one record for each client identified by a unique ClientID number.
  • The lines connecting each table show the relationships between the tables.
  • Lines between the main T_Client table and all related tables beginning with T_Client are one-to-many. This means one client can have many records in each related table. For instance, the table T_ClientService holds all records for services provided.

Download the Data Model [pdf]

Reports and Queries

Reporting is one of the most critical pieces of an electronic medical system.

Research and Statistics Packages

WinIDAMS is a software package for the validation, manipulation and statistical analysis of data, developed by the UNESCO Secretariat in co-operation with experts from various countries. It is distributed free-of-charge upon request.

Measuring Client Services Outcomes

Program outcome measurement is the regular, systematic tracking of the results of program activities for clients.

United Way: Community Impact Resources - Twelve documents in PDF format with information on implementing program outcome measurement and building agency capacity for outcome measurement.

Resources on Data Model Planning

  • An Ecosystems Approach to Human Service Database Design [PDF] - Derek Coursen. 2006. ABSTRACT. Early client-tracking databases were strongly influenced by the structure of previous paper-based systems. More recently, there has been evolution toward databases that attempt to represent the interconnectedness of people in the human service environment. No consensus on best practices, however, has yet emerged. This paper presents a systems analysis technique and a data model based on one of the theoretical foundations of current social work practice: the ecosystems perspective. This approach facilitates a range of knowledge management and performance measurement capabilities that have so far been uncommon in client-tracking systems.
  • Modeling Participant Flows in Human Service Programs [PDF] - Derek Coursen. 2004. ABSTRACT: Participants flow into, through, and out of human service programs in complex ways: into a program's screening process and out again without receiving services (ineligibility); from one internal state of receiving services to another (advances and setbacks); and out of and back into the program (repeating). Drawing on the traditions of the information systems field, we propose a methodology for defining and graphically modeling participant flows. The methodology, Status-Transition-Cycle (STC) mapping, assists in systems analysis and simultaneously suggests a data model convention for client-tracking systems.

Check out the next section of the toolkit: Implementing a Client Data Management System

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