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No Wrong Door: Digital Referral System (2014-Present)

Client: Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma Best Start Networks and the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS)

The concept of “No Wrong Door” represents service providers working collaboratively to ensure that the needs of children and families are addressed.  As part of the MCYS’ Community Integration Leader (CIL) project, the CGC was asked to modernize and digitize the Children’s Coordinated Access Algoma (CCAA) temporary referral process.  The former CCAA “No Wrong Door” referral process involved an agency filling out a paper “Temporary Client Referral” form and faxing this completed form to one of the members of the CCAA referral network. 

This process was developed at a time when there were relatively few referrals.  Since the development of this process, the volume of referrals has increased as well as the number of agencies sending referrals.  This has led to several issues, including:  referring agencies no longer having fax machines; tracking status of sent referrals can only be done by phone or email once the referral is sent; there is limited to no information to analyze and evaluate for improvement; there is no easy process for determining if the referral has been processed within a self-imposed mandate of 48 hours; and there is no easy process for tracking referral pathways.  Furthermore, faxes are increasingly being seen as an insecure way to transfer personal information.

The CCAA referral system has been enhanced by CGC by the development of a digital referral tracking process.   This project addresses these issues by creating a digital referral tracking process where a secure web based referral form is completed by staff and submitted to a database driven application. The application sends the form to the appropriate organization within the Children’s Coordinated Access referral network.  The referral application has been designed to track the status of the referral including when it was received or if it was re-referred to a different agency.

Implementation of this system is currently underway within the CCAA agencies and a number of other entry points along the system (eg. Best Start Hubs).  The current system can be seen at http://www.nwdalgoma.ca. 

Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre