The Department has implemented improved programme performance reporting processes in new grant agreements. The Data Exchange applies to most client-based programmes in DSS, and will progressively introduce standardised, prioritised, and collaborative reporting processes.
The Data Exchange provides a streamlined IT solution for data capture and reporting for over 46 Commonwealth programs across the Department of Social Services as well as some programs from the Department of Health and the Attorney-General’s Department.
Under the Data Exchange, data requirements are divided into two parts: a small set of mandatory priority requirements that all funded services must report, and a voluntary extended data set that providers can choose to share with the Department in return for relevant and meaningful reports, known as the partnership approach.
We will start by setting you up with the DEX portal, then connecting Comm.care to it and finally linking the rest to the portal. Let’s get started;
Get Access to the DSS Data Exchange
You need to have access to the DSS Data Exchange web portal - don’t worry you won’t need to work on it much longer.
1. Obtain an AUSkey certificate. If you are not already registered for AUSkey, registration information is available on the Australian Business Register website.
1. Obtain access to the DSS Data Exchange web portal, follow the instructions on DSS Data Exchange Task Card 1.
We recommend registering more than one person to the portal.
1. Submit a DSS Data Exchange System User Request Form with a tick on System Account. The system account is used by Comm.care to log in to DEX to submit transactions on your organisation’s behalf. You can find the DSS Data Exchange System User Request Form here.
The DSS Data Exchange helpdesk is excellent. Don’t hesitate to contact them by email email@example.com or on 1800 020 283 if you have any questions.
Set up DSS on Comm.care
Once you receive the confirmation email from the department, go to your organisation’s profile, click on the Blue pencil button and; 1. Select DSS Funding 2. Enter DSS Username and DSS Password as provided on the department’s email.
When you click Save Changes Comm.care will connect to DEX with your credentials and retrieve the organisation details. Note the Synchronised with DSS message on the right side of the screen.
Connect your services to DSS
Now let’s create the services that you are going to be providing to your clients that are funded by the Department of Social Services. Go to the Services on your organisation and click on Add New Service. The create new service screen will appear;
When the organisation is approved for CHSP’s DSS funding the contract states Programme Activities that are funded to be delivered, on this case Activity Name is Community and Home Support for CHSP funded services. Comm.care retrieves this information for you so you only have to select it.
If the organisation provides multiple programs all with the same funding source you should create multiple services and connect them to the same Outlet and Activity name. This will also enable you to report by program in Comm.care. On DSS they will be seen as one.
Managing DEX Clients from the Circle Profile
Now that the organisation is fully setup to work with DEX, lets see how to add new Clients on DEX from Comm.care.
Go to the Profile within a Circle of Care and click on the Blue pencil to edit it;
Note how Comm.care shows the fields that are sent to DEX with the “DSS” blue label next to the name. The screen also marks the mandatory fields “Required by: DSS” and the optional mandatory fields (with a question mark ”?”) . The department defines Optional Mandatory fields as required depending on the delivered service. As an example; - For client 1 Accommodation Setting is a required field as CHSP Social support is being delivered - For client 2 Month and Year of first arrival are required as Settlement services is being delivered.
Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) specific data
Where the case is delivered under the Commonwealth Home support Programme (CHSP), added clients will require the following specific information added to their profile before you can add them to a session within the case. - Accommodation Settings (Type) - Household Composition (Living Arrangements) - DVA Card Status - Has Carer (Existence of Carer)
To maintain the focus on DSS related fields you can filter the sections to DSS on the Filters section to the right of the screen.
Finally, when you first enter the client information on Comm.care we don’t send the transaction to DEX because the Client could be receiving DSS funded service, or not. For this reason Comm.care adds the DSS Client on DEX when a DSS funded service is planed on the Roadmap. Let’s do that on the next section.
Managing DEX Cases from the Circle’s Roadmap
According to the Department, a case is the first step in recording service delivery information within the Data Exchange. A case reflects how you deliver a service on the ground. Since Comm.care is Person Centered Planning, the DSS Case maps from Comm.care’s Circle’s Roadmap.
When you select the DSS funded service, created before, Comm.care will automatically show fields necessary to create a DSS Case.
On the DSS Clients section, select the Client created on the previous step. If the dropdown doesn’t show any clients, it means that some DSS Required fields weren’t entered, just go back to the Profile and complete all fields Required by DSS.
The Partnership Approach
Comm.care supports “Partnership Approach”. If your organisation opts to participate in the Partnership Approach you can choose to record where the client was referred from and the reasons they are seeking assistance.
When you click save, Comm.care will automatically create the new DSS Client and then DSS Case on the Data Exchange (DEX) on your behalf. For this reason pay special attention at the DSS Syncronisation message that will report if there were any errors with the information in the DSS Client or DSS Case.
Managing DEX Session with Circle’s Progress Notes
One of the great benefits of Comm.care is that the support workers can enter their progress notes on the road, no need to go back to the office and handling numerous Excel spreadsheets and Word documents. When the support workers create a Progress note based on an appointment in the calendar Comm.care will send the transaction to DEX to create the sessions as they occur. There is no need to compile all the occurrences into a convoluted XML file or manually enter thousands of sessions on the DEX Portal on the 30 of July.
Note how Comm.care has automagically populated; - Time and Date of occurrence from the appointment - Quantity and Fees charged from the Roadmap - Clients list based on the Clients entered on the Roadmap. - You will notice that other fields might appear depending on the Service Type. As an example; if Service Type is Home Modifications you will also need to enter Total Cost (of the Home mods) and Extra Items to detail what was done.
Because the Department of Social Services only records the services that were actually delivered you will notice that Comm.care only sends the services with Status = Provided if you change the status from Active to Cancel Comm.care will delete the DSS Session for you.
Reporting DEX transaction status
Even though the users can see the status of the transactions sent to DEX, it is a good idea to check the general status of all the transactions. To do this, go to the DEX Request section inside your organisation and look at All transactions listing. If you see a failed transaction, check whether it wasn’t successfully sent again later. If it wasn’t, you can resend the transaction by clicking on the Repeat Request button. If there was a problem, an error message will appear.
So there you go this is how your organisation can become a lean, mean, caring machine instead of a backwards paper shuffling machine.