There’s a very interesting post by Craig Buswell over on The Certified Trainer’s Blog about creating individual based access.  By the way, if you aren’t a regular reader of that blog you are missing out, it should be part of your day, just about every day.  Also, be sure to respond to the bloggers, it’s great to know someone is reading!

Craig suggests an approach to individual access that I would not recommend to most people (in fact I remember when we first brought out caseloads undoing a similar sort of setup while hiding at the back of a CARF Conference!).

The goal certainly makes sense though.  If you work with an individual, you want to be able to have access to their data from everywhere.  It’s actually something we have already implemented in a number of modules (Health Tracking is the most obvious example) and hope, over time, to do for the whole system.

As things stand just now, there are basically three work arounds you can do:

1. Make every individual their own program

2. Just have one program, but make caseloads within it that are for each program

3. Take your existing program based caseloads and add to them the individuals as individuals

Screenshot of Caseload

To me, the only one of these that makes sense in the vast majority of cases is the last one.  It has many benefits if you want your staff to see data about everyone they work with regardless of where that individual is receiving services.

The biggest benefits I think are that it is easy to administer and it treats the data in that way it was designed to be used.  As we work on making the application bigger, better and more dynamic, we have to make certain assumptions about the billions of records.  We have to assume that the data and the structures within the database are what is expected.  This is my main reason for arguing against the use of “fake” individuals, but that’s another story!

By choosing option 3, programs are still programs and individuals and still individuals and so when you search for something you know where to look.  Also, remember that program names are included in notifications which go out over non-secure media such as text messages and email.

I’d be happy to hear what you think.

:: Justin ::