Community solution frees up over €4.5m per year for Irish addiction charities

Enclude, are TechSoup’s partner in Ireland.  In addition to offering the donated and discounted software to charities through the Techsoup Technology Donation Programme, they provide customized solutions to 100s of Irish charities to support their core ‘business’.  Individual solutions can transform individual organisations and greatly free up resources to deal with clients.  However, where charities are willing to work each other and with their collective funders, the benefits can be much wider level, enabling national policy to be shaped and informed by timely accurate information, as has been the case with addiction services in Ireland.

60% of the addiction services Ireland use eCASS ( electronic Community Addiction Services Solution), a system Enclude developed having co-designed it with both services and funders in the addiction sector, and which has been implemented across the sector in partnership with Quality Matters.

A recent evaluation of these addiction service clients has shown average savings of €70k per annum – in terms of savings on software and time and resources freed up. In addition, there are significant improvements in terms of the quality of data available to manage interactions with clients as well as that available to meet funders’ reporting requirements.

Key findings to emerge from the evaluation include:

  • The average total cost saving per organisation using eCASS is €67,000.

  • On average, eCASS saves managers and administrators 52 hours per month and 89 days per year. Each organisation receives a further €18,000 of free software licences

  • The initial costs ( of 5k per project) were on average four times cheaper than the alternative systems on offer.

  • The overall annual resource savings for the addiction services from eCASS is equivalent to over €4.5m.

  • 93% of respondents reported that eCASS improved their understanding of the importance of data.

  • 91% of respondents said it helped managers to have oversight of staff work.

  • 89% reported that eCASS had provided information to support improvements in their work.

  • In addition to the annualised savings from eCASS, the initial costs were on average four times cheaper than the alternative systems on offer.

Informing better policy

In addition to the savings at an individual organization level, eCASS allows for the aggregation of data across services at a regional level and national level which in turn supports better policy decisions. To ensure eCASS can best fulfill its potential in this area, personnel from local Drug Task Forces, the Health Research Board and academic experts were among the stakeholders regularly consulted throughout the system’s design and development.

eCASS has brought huge benefits as a way to record and report on actual contact time, outcomes and progression of clients from a service perspective feeding into a larger statistical gathering exercise providing timely and relevant information to funders and policy makers.”

Lisa Gavillet, Development Worker with North Eastern Regional Drugs Task Force

Spreading savings to other sectors

Enclude, in association with their partners Quality Matters, are working to replicate the success of eCASS, through the iAlliance Programme, with charities delivering services in other sectors, such as Domestic Violence, Mental Health and Youth Services.

Each iAlliance project will build a partnership of key stakeholders within a particular service area to guide the development of service delivery solution

We have worked with hundreds of Irish charities on individual system to address their information needs and will continue to do that. But we have seen the transformation that’s possible – as well as the fantastic savings in time and money – through collaborative working in addiction services and would love to see other social sectors derive the same benefits.”

Eamon Stack, Enclude CEO

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