Transitioning from a paper or other electronic system is a big change for your organization. The change will involve learning to do things differently and may change the way people work. Even upgrading from a previous version of HIFIS may cause changes in your organization, particularly if you decide to implement new features. As with all change, addressing concerns early and making the benefits clear will help the transition to the new system to progress quickly and efficiently in a positive environment, and ultimately will yield a better end result.
If your organization is moving from paper records to HIFIS, getting used to entering information on a computer will be a big adjustment. You may find that users wish to continue maintaining paper records until they are confident with the electronic system. Will you be maintaining two systems while your employees make the transition to HIFIS? How long will you continue to maintain two systems?
If your organization is moving from another electronic system, you may find that users need time to familiarize themselves with the differences between the old and new system. How will you manage this? Will you implement HIFIS with a few people first, who can then help you to promote the system? Will you get everyone to move at once? Your response will depend on the size and type of organization in which you are implementing HIFIS.
If your organization is upgrading from a previous version of HIFIS, you may find that existing users need to become accustomed to changes implemented in HIFIS 3.8. If your organization is implementing new features, who will be using these features and how will you be starting?
You can help to prepare employees for the new software by providing them with the skills and tools they need. Develop a training plan using the HIFIS 3 Training Centre. More information about Adapting HIFIS Training to Your Organization is included later in this module.
You may want to assign some of your technologically adept staff to be “super users” who can assist you and other staff with the implementation when there are problems. You can also download a training version of the software and make it available on a standalone computer for your staff to try out in a safe environment, either before you implement HIFIS or for new users to get comfortable using HIFIS.
Promoting the Use of HIFIS
One of the keys to implementing HIFIS in your organization is actively promoting it to the people who will be using it.
Below are some points that may help you promote the benefits of using HIFIS to your team.
Spend less time doing paperwork and more time with clients
Do an intake interview once, and then add to that client record as required.
Book in clients quickly using the Express Lane feature.
A report which may have taken several hours each week can now be done automatically by HIFIS.
Achieve a paperless office
No more binders and hand-written case notes. Staff can access the information they need, when they need it.
HIFIS has a new Case Management function enabling Caseworkers to record sessions and secure the information in the system.
You can protect information in HIFIS and limit access to only the people who need it.
Improve your planning
Use the HIFIS reports to reveal your clients’ immediate needs. Analyze the data you gather to predict the need for services from year to year.
Become part of the solution
Data from the HIFIS system assists communities with their long-term planning and capacity building to address local challenges. HIFIS also enables the collection of homelessness statistics and data about the population using shelters, in order to produce an accurate picture of the scope and nature of Canadian homelessness.
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