The Northern Kentucky Area Development District (NKADD) is an umbrella organization that serves eight counties with an Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) and an Area Agency on Aging (AAA). Since its founding in 1971 and continuing well into the early 2000s, the organization relied on paper documents for all its assessments, referrals, and internal memos. When new federal reporting requirements motivated a shift to a computer system, the organization turned to WellSky’s Aging & Disability software (formerly SAMS) in 2004. Since then, the WellSky Aging & Disability software has become the organization’s key information exchange between local and state agencies, providers, and the aging and disabled populations.
After using the software to input and track its own data electronically, the organization invited its providers to input their own agency data in 2005. Then, in 2009, NKADD became one of Kentucky’s first AAA’s to merge into the Kentucky Statewide Database. Access to a statewide database with just a few clicks of a button enables the organization to quickly and effectively link older adults, caregivers, and people with disabilities to vital programs and resources. Staff members can also maintain waiting lists and review prior conversations and tasks in real time.
NKADD’s shift to a computer-based system has brought the organization to the technological forefront of community care. NKADD has discovered that the move to paperless tracking has improved customer service and community access to information resources. Technology streamlines key functions from start to finish, not only resulting in better care outcomes for individuals in need, but also reducing personnel costs.
NKADD’s successful transition to a technology-based system and the statewide database has required top-to-bottom buy-in at all organizational levels. Management, staff, providers and funders have necessarily become partners.
This organization which had once been entirely based on paper now runs on technology which supports and streamlines processes across the board. This powerful change is allowing NKADD to operate more efficiently and effectively as lifeline to programs and services for older adults, persons with disabilities, and caregivers.