Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New Follow Up Manager


To help call operators, case managers, outreach staff and others follow up with their clients and contacts even more efficiently and effectively, VisionLink has released an enhanced Followup Manager (creative name, yes?)

The solution defaults to a view with today's followups listed, with one click access to followups that are past due, or due in the next 7 or 30 days. The enhancement integrates with the existing notification bar across the top fo the screen, to help ensure that follow activities are not missed.

Authorized users can also automate followups by frequency and day of the week; for example, this would allow a follow up very two weeks on Thursdays. When the work is done, the followup task can be marked appropriately.

Thanks go to the Down East Partnership for Children and Jessica Jones for making this possible across the VisionLink network.

Dr. W. Douglas Zimmerman
President & CEO
VisionLink, Inc.

Monday, August 29, 2011

VisionLink iPhone App Makes Top Ten List

The Shelter View iPhone App, contributed by VisionLink to the American Red Cross, ranked in the top ten free utilities this weekend on the iTunes Store.


The Red Cross opened more than 500 shelters, providing local assistance across the entire eastern seaboard. The impacted area from Hurricane Irene was larger than the European continent.

The challenge now is to keep the public engaged as the storm resulted in more chaos than the reports of "missing the bullet" would suggest. With more than 5.5 million people without power, and some rivers yet to see their highest crest, many people need considerable assistance. Fortunately, hundreds of disaster relief organizations (most members of the Coordinated Assistance Network), know this and are coordinating many specially trained volunteers to assist.

The consequences range far;  blood drives are an example. More than 65 regularly scheduled blood drives were canceled because of Irene and this means that extra efforts will need to be mounted to sustain the nation's blood supply.

The iPhone App itself provides a quick national overview of open shelters, the ability to zoom in for more details, to check capacity and bed counts at any given shelter, the opportunity to donate to the disaster fund, and more. You can find the app by searching the iTunes store for "shelter view," or preview it here.



Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes! 

You only need to know 4 things about this app: Yes, it's official; Yes, it's free; Yes, it's good, and Yes, you need to install it on your phone *now* (before disaster strikes!)
The Shelter View App receives it's information directly from the National Shelter System, deployed by VisionLink on its CommunityOS platform. Our press release about the Top Ten ranking can be read here.

Please consider donating to the Red Cross or other relief agencies; this will be a very expensive recovery effort.

Dr. W. Douglas Zimmerman
President & CEO
VisionLink, Inc.







Friday, August 26, 2011

2-1-1 Disaster Shelter Resources

Operating a 2-1-1 call center? Information and Referral? Elder care hotline or other similar solution? Then consider connecting to the National Shelter System to have information about disaster shelters at your finger tips, and for those you serve.

You can have an account on the National Shelter System, or have access to the XML open shelters data feed. You can use this data feed to drive information in your resource system, to display on maps and more.

For those of you who are using VisionLink's CommunityOS platform for 2-1-1 and I & R, or for similar solutions, we can make this even easier. The NSS and your CommunityOS platform use the same VisionLink software, and we built the NSS data standard and the data feed. Simply send us a copy of the executed authorization forms from the Red Cross, and we will turn on the feed for you.

To gain access to the NSS (for an account or for the Data Feed), write to nssresource@usa.redcross.org, and they will send you the proper paperwork.

Here's to only moderate damage from Hurricane Irene.

Dr. W. Douglas Zimmerman
President & CEO
VisionLink, Inc.


 



Increasing High Quality Education Degrees - Lumina Conference



As part of their "Big Goal" to increase the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees and credentials to 60% by the year 2025, Lumina Foundation has convened state legislators, policy makers, higher education leadership and representatives from 18 states in Indianapolis this week.  

This is important work, being done well.  Too many talk too much about the importance of education.  These folks are actually working on it.

Concluding today, speakers have included David Leonhardt, Washington Bureau Chief & Pulitzer Prize winner of the New York Times, Andy Goodman of The Goodman Center, Will Friedman, President of Public Agenda, and Bill Powers, President of the University of Texas at Austin.

Lois Ann Porter, a VisionLink Vice President and Director of Strategic Advantage has worked with HCM Strategists to construct and carry out the planning, tools, training and agenda for the conference.  Excellent work all! 

Learn more: Lumina Foundation  National Productivity Conference (check out the conference web casts).  You can also follow the conversation on Twitter with #collegeproductivity.

Dr. W. Douglas Zimmerman
President & CEO
VisionLink, Inc.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Preparing For Irene - Shelter View App



Preparing for Hurricane Irene?  Be sure to keep up to date with Disaster Shelter information from the American Red Cross.  Two options:

a) If you have an iPhone, iPod or iPad, go to the App Store and search for "Shelter View." The application is free; it maps information about open shelters, and provides information about location, capacity and more very useful to those near the disaster area.

b) Take your web browser to http://www.redcross.org/nss and you can see most of the same information about shelters, capacity, driving directions and more from the National Shelter System, also deployed on VisionLink's CommunityOS platform.




Design and development costs for the Shelter View application were contributed to the American Red Cross by VisionLink, Inc as part of the CommunityOS(TM) platform.

If you have an iPhone, iPod or iPad, this is the one App we hope you will never need.  It is, however, a great easy way to keep up to date with small and large disasters across the United States every day.

Dr. W. Douglas Zimmerman
President & CEO
VisionLink, Inc.