New software will lead to easier and more effective contact tracing

Contact tracing in Cheshire and Merseyside has been given a boost, thanks to the soft launch of a new Case Management System (CMS).

The CMS, which is based on the Microsoft Dynamics platform, will support the intention to have a ‘one team’ approach to contact tracing in the subregion, by enabling easy communication and management of cases between local authorities and Cheshire and Merseyside’s dedicated contact tracing Hub.

This new CMS offers many benefits: it is an easier to use platform, which will speed up the contact tracing process, and it allows for the easy identification of duplicate cases and, for cases that are complex, seamless handover to the Hub.

Martin Jones, Programme Manager for the Champs Support Team, who has led the implementation of this CMS, said: 

“The flexible nature of the CMS means that each area has control over exactly how it is used. At the moment, local authority teams tend to work on a case-based approach, whereas the Hub works with complex cases and settings. Each team can see what other teams are working on which reduces the risk of duplication and confusion. There are also ways to allow teams to pass work between them so, for example, a local authority could start working with a case and then discover that it is part of a complex setting with many more cases. The work could then be passed to the Hub for management and contact tracing. Likewise, the Hub may pass a case to a local authority that require local action, perhaps due a failure to contact that requires a physical visit.

“Integration is planned with other national solutions, like the Integrated Tracing Solution (ITS), which means that case data can be automatically transferred between them. This will drastically reduce the requirement for time-consuming rekeying of data and the risk of transcription error.

“Whilst each of the units has considerable autonomy in how they use the solution; the information recorded is standardised across Cheshire and Merseyside, providing a rich source of data for operational team leaders and senior managers. PowerBI provides a powerful and flexible reporting platform for near real time information – both as standard dashboards and one-off requirements. Senior managers will have access to a consistent reporting suite to cover the whole of the subregion, allowing time critical decisions to be made rapidly and reliably.”