Case Study - TAP from LRS Web Solutions on Vimeo.
LRS Web Solutions listened to the client’s needs and improved an existing website form. It was improved to better represent the deliverables required for the client’s grant funding. The improved form and database connects autistic children with autism providers faster, more efficiently, and more accurately. The client and its stakeholders save time, improve efficiency, and increase satisfaction.
Top 5 Benefits of the New TAP Database
The Autism Program of Illinois at Hope, located in Springfield, Illinois is a grant program funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services. It has served children in Illinois with autism spectrum disorders and their families since 2003.
TAP (The Autism Program) connects children with autism to services throughout the state using a network of 15 network partners that operate 20 service sites. According to the Illinois Respite Coalition, TAP is the largest statewide comprehensive provider in the country serving people with autism.
The network of providers includes 5 universities and 10 organizations that together provide a wide array of autism services for children in Illinois. Services include screenings and diagnostics, individual and group therapy, family support, training and education, and much more.
About 1 in 44 children in the United States is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, so the services are in high demand to serve the state’s children.
Children, families, educators, day care providers, and medical professionals rely on TAP to connect children with the state’s services. Individuals or their family members fill out the website form to request services.
Mary Kelly, Quality Coordinator of The Autism Program, leads a small team that reviews requests and assigns them to an appropriate provider within a 50 miles radius of the child’s home. The provider then contacts the family to begin connecting with the desired services. After the connection is established, the provider might enroll them in services at their site, put them on a waitlist for services, make an in-network referral to another TAP partner, or make an out of network referral to meet their needs for service.
“As a statewide grant with deliverables to serve children throughout Illinois, having the form on our website allows a front door for individuals and their family members seeking services to find us,” Mary says. “I never anticipated the number of inquiries that we would get from the website form. A lot of people find us that way. It just needed to be better.”
TAP built the form and the original vendor connected it to their existing software platform that fit their existing company model -- not customized to what TAP needed. Still, Mary powered through the cumbersome platform to get the job done. “The platform had too many bells and whistles and it didn’t function the way we wanted it to.”
In spring 2022, TAP learned that the vendor was shifting its business model and terminating the TAP contract. TAP needed to find a new provider to create a new database in a short amount of time. “It was a blessing in disguise,” Mary says.
The earlier system was more focused on a medical model than a not-for-profit model. “It was tedious, redundant, complicated, and required way too many clicks/steps for our TAP network partner users.” The old form also did not entirely align with grant deliverables.
“With the previous system, very few cases were closed; the old form was so cumbersome to use,” Mary says.
With desperate families asking for help with their child, time is critical.
“These parents are confused, scared, and don’t know where to turn. They don’t know what they need or what to ask for. That’s where our form fills the gap. “
Incredibly, the previous system also relied on the vendor to select the right provider for the child. Mary says she spent most of her days correcting errors and sending inquiries to the right people. “We know our TAP providers inside and out. The vendor couldn’t fulfill the requests correctly.”
After a bidding process, TAP chose LRS to make something better. It was a tall order with a tight deadline. TAP doesn’t host its website with LRS, nor were they a web design customer. Yet, LRS listened carefully and created a custom, integrated solution that fit TAP’s needs.
“At LRS Web Solutions, we want to get to know our clients and learn about their problems,” says Jamie Baird, UX specialist and program manager. “Then we work together to create a solution. For TAP we wanted to make sure Mary and her staff had a better way to connect these kids to the services they need as efficiently as possible.”
“We studied how the information was being collected and processed. It was clear that the workflow did not meet TAP’s needs,” says Bill Goldsberry, manager of LRS Web Solutions.
“We knew we could build a custom solution that would make it easier for the public to request needs and improve the workflow of staff and partners.”
Using the LRS Antilles Content Manager, the LRS Web Solutions team created a custom form matching TAP’s branding and linked it to a custom database specific to the statewide program services.
The custom form went live on July 1,2022. The database backend for assigning and processing requests soon followed in October 2022.
Even though TAP does not manage its website with LRS, we were able to integrate the custom form into their website. Administrators can easily manage the form submissions through custom built module in the LRS Antilles Content Manager.
Mary remembers arranging sheets of paper scattered on her living room floor to create a workflow for the database, and the LRS team made it work.
“LRS built the database specifically for our needs, unlike our previous vendor that was trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. The LRS team did an excellent job of listening and taking what we had conceptualized to put into action.”
Today, TAP administrators can quickly assign the inquiries to the right partner. The providers can securely detail the next steps for the client, and Mary can efficiently generate detailed reports to satisfy the grant reporting.
Working with the LRS team was such as pleasure...They were able to listen to what our conceptualization of the database might look like and made it quick and easy for everyone to use."
- Mary Kelly, TAP Quality Coordinator
TOP 5 BENEFITS OF THE NEW TAP DATABASE
1. EASIER TO USE
The new TAP database is intuitive, streamlined, and reflects the services the network provides.
It’s easier for families to request services, faster for TAP staff to assign the inquiries, and more efficient for the providers to manage the requests. Even little things like editing the submitted form fields are easier with the LRS Antilles system.
Mary has received positive feedback from beta members and partners. “Some of our partners are running entire programs and don’t have time for a cumbersome system. They’ve told me they are amazed at how much easier it is to use.”
2. MORE SECURE
While functional, the system is also more secure, a critical element for the database that collects personal information. “Our provider network can only see information we assign to their organization, nothing else. The system is really secure, and the data integrity is high.”
3. IMPROVED WORKFLOW
In the past, Mary spent a lot of time training partners to use the system, trouble-shooting functionality issues, and fixing the vendor’s mistakes. With the launch of the new system, after one training, the statewide providers understand how to use the new system.
Mary also has trained two TAP staff to review the requests, and she provides oversight, audits workflow, and runs reports. Previously, Mary had managed all the requests.
Mary also notes that the LRS Customer Support team has been extremely helpful now that the form and database are live. “The team is engaged and responsive. Your request doesn’t sit in a queue for days on end. Most issues have been resolved quickly and efficiently within the same day or by the next day!”
4. ROBUST REPORTING
Reporting may be Mary’s favorite feature of the new system. Before, the reporting was not specific to the TAP program so provided no usable data. Mary is amazed by all the options available with the LRS-built database.
“Reporting is important for the grant. We designed the reporting system with many filter options to capture data statewide and on a granular level to counties, insurance types, therapy types, etc. I love these reports!”
5. IMPROVED EFFICIENCY
Following an inquiry, assignment is faster.
In just the first two months with the new form, requests for help doubled in October and November compared to May and June.
The efficiency of the database workflow is a real time saver for all TAP network users. The time between a received inquiry and assigned case time has improved. The assignments are more accurate and complete.
With a smooth-running system, Mary now has time to work on projects that had been delayed because of prior problems with the form, such as quality assurance, quarterly state reporting, and developing an expert-led training symposium.
THE ULTIMATE MISSION
As a result of this custom form and database, families and children with autism disorders can get faster access to compassionate care -- with the therapies and services that will improve their quality of life.
"I am so happy that we delivered a solution that streamlined this process for everyone and exceeded expectations," says Bill Goldsberry, Manager of Web Solutions.
“Working with TAP was an amazing experience! I’m absolutely thrilled that we met their goals in building the new system,” adds Jamie Baird, UX Specialist and Program Manager.
“The outcome truly makes me happy not only from a quality of work perspective, but also in that it provides a noble and essential service to our community.”
Mary has a family connection to autism spectrum disorders, making her work even more meaningful. “I’m a parent, and I’ve walked this walk. Being able to get parents in touch with the providers is very rewarding.”
Mary is thankful to LRS for the work to improve this critical project. “From the beginning of conceptualizing the user workflow of the database to the design and demo phases, the LRS team was there working hand-in-hand with us to design it to fit our specific needs.”