Ombuds offices have elevated and unique needs for managing personal and case information and for meeting other best practice standards. Caseload Manager now supports ombuds offices meeting International Ombudsman Association (IOA) best practice case management standards.
Ombuds offices are commonly based on a core set of unique best practice standards that set them apart from other types of dispute resolution offices. For this reason, typical case management software typically does not fit the unique needs of an ombuds office. Caseload Manager, developed by the people at Mediate.com, has now, however, been developed specifically to support and reinforce ombuds best practices of independence, neutrality, confidentiality, and informality.
Ombuds offices are designed to be independent from the agency they work for. An ombuds office within a university, for example, is designed to operate independent from the university, meaning that the ombuds is not partial to any office, employee, or student.
For this reason, an ombuds case management system for managing cases should ideally be fully independent from the employer’s (university in this example) computer system and IT department. A university ombuds office should ideally not store any confidential user information on the university’s main servers.
Critically, Caseload Manager stores its data on its own secure, encrypted cloud servers, which only the ombuds and approved staff can access on a case specific basis. Caseload Manager offers options of storing client data either in the U.S. (Virginia) or E.U. (Frankfurt).
For an ombuds office to be effective, users need to have confidence that the office is neutral and separate from common organizational administration. Using Caseload Manager as an impartial platform helps to reinforce the neutrality of the ombuds office.
Keeping ombuds case information in a secure digital environment is critical to protecting ombuds clients’ confidentiality. There are no paper trails or hard copy files. Staff can choose which information they want to memorialize about a client and situation, and if they would like personally identifying information deleted upon case closure. Personal identifying information is removed while still maintaining data for all case reports and analysis.
With Caseload Manager, ombuds also have the option to allow staff to log in to Caseload Manager and view their individual personal calendar and case activities, without being able to see private visitor or case information. Each office tailors their desired level of information access for staff by roles or individually.
If ombuds needs information from a visitor, this information can be requested through email and a secure upload directly into Caseload Manager. Once uploaded, only the ombuds and authorized staff have access to this documentation and only the ombuds can choose to delete it.
Informality and Ease
Nearly all aspects of Caseload Manager can be configured and adjusted so as to be an effective extension of your unique ombuds office. Perhaps the best thing about Caseload Manager is that support and training are all included and there is a fantastic Caseload Manager Support Site at www.CaseloadManager.com/Support.
Commonly, the easiest way for ombuds offices to get going with Caseload Manager is to first import International Ombudsman Association (IOA) case types and complaint standards. Your office can then customize these settings and also create your own additional custom case fields, resolution options, statuses, outcomes, stationary, and other custom fields and settings to best represent and organize your services.
Ombuds offices are invited to take advantage of the current free trial of Caseload Manager (including training and support).
The following article is a revised and expanded version of lectures delivered by the author at the Victoria University of Wellington School of Law and the Faculty of Law, University...By Tom Stipanowich