Technology Solutions for Human Services
by: Isatou Susso
The use of computer technology helps professionals to meet the goals of human service organizations or agencies to serve clients better. Technology solution for human services provides tools in of human services profession to enhance service delivery for clients in need. Information technology can provide solutions helping to remove barriers that human service agencies and professionals face in the areas of planning, funding, and empowerment in handling client case management.
In human services, it is vital for the management and administration of human service agencies to update the methods of processing information and organizing the tasks to meet challenges to satisfy the needs of the clients. Technology has been fast growing and new innovations are developing, professionals in the human services agencies use technology to improve by measuring and evaluating programs and services offered in human service agencies.
Technology did not only makes tasks easy but also enables a complicated work to be done in which without technology, is impossible to achieve. The tool that accomplishes human services objective is information technology. Technology provides education, training, and communication within organizations, to clients, and the public.
Technology assists human service organizations to communicate with clients one and one and at the community level. The development of technology expands into education, training, multimedia, video, and distance learning. Human services technology is vital in human services professions through client service program management. Technology I believe is a powerful reporting and tracking tool provide instant access to data, collaborative case management and monitoring, and tracking medical history of clients. Technology also provides advanced document editing tool example the use of word processor.
The use of computer technology provides the therapeutic applications, interviewing, and assessment, treatment, direct client interventions, and help human service professional to communicate with clients. The use of computer technology helps professionals to meet the goals of human service organizations or agencies to serve clients better. Client services can either be direct or indirect. Direct service provides clients to access programs information through the Internet example senior citizens can obtain information about Medicare eligibility and benefits online. Individual with disabilities can also find options for assistance through the use of technology. Indirect services are provided through the use of the technology software example case management software. The software is used to capture the data elements necessary for reporting to the mental health agency.
Marketing and communication in human service technology focus on internal communication through e-mail and networking, selling programs, providing program infrastructures, public relations, and obey government rules and regulations. Technology in human services may be a tool to help find information for professionals and clients in health care development. In health and human services organizations there have been policies and procedures implemented in the health sector to serve clients physically, mentally, socially, and psychologically for better care services.
Communication in human services is convenience by using e-mail, teleconferencing, and the World Wide Web. Telemedicine management systems and care networks are examples of information management systems. Direct services to clients by means of technology include assessment, counseling, education, and therapy. Technology allows human services professionals to employ the latest information about practice, client groups, and skill development. “For example, the National Institute of Health (2006) provides live audio reports on human services-related issues such as diabetes, addiction, obesity, and heart diseases.”
Technology solutions may be barriers in human services regarding planning, funding, and empowerment. Some of these barriers are vision, hearing, learning or cognitive, physical, and economic barriers (ATAccess, 2005). These barriers were intended to explain barriers in web-access, it can be considered as barriers social services agencies face in their interaction with clients daily.
Learning or cognitive barriers in the human services some clients’ find it difficult in understanding the technologies at the hand of employees or agents. The physical barriers entail the disability of the users of the computer in using the different peripherals such as the mouse (ATAcess, 2005). Economic barriers might be financial issues, profit, cost, and expenses. Such type of barriers is very common with social services it is very significant in the management of funding and stability of the agency. Human services professional deliver service better with less effort and spend more time with clients and less time with paperwork.
Technology has revolutionized outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment practices in human services clinical documentation and electronic billing needs. The use of technology in human services influences the use of word processing, which is a computer application including composition, editing, formatting, and printing official document used in human service programs. Most modern processors take advantage of a graphic user interface. The use of Excel spreadsheet, PowerPoint, and video are vital during presentations providing information for human service clients ‘visually.
The use of technology in human services starts with the establishment of information technology infrastructure working with the day- to-day activities in assisting human services delivery. In summary human services professional are currently using many technologies to improve the ways the professionals communicate with clients, expand the way information is managed, provide services to client, and engage in professional development. Human service organizations predict technology will continue to have an impact on the profession during the 21century.