It's the age-old question (not really but just go with it), should your system be set up to automatically sign kids into a class/activity; or not? One of the most requested features we've had was for automatic sign-in. Not sure what we mean? Here's an example, if you know that every kid who attends your program between 3 - 3:30pm will be given a snack, then COMET can take any kid with a sign-in record but no sign-out record at 3pm (so anyone who should currently be at the program) will be automatically 'checked-in' to received a snack. Pretty simple, right? Maybe not.
In May we attended the New York State Network for Youth Success conference in Saratoga Springs, NY. It's always great to be in the company of like-minded folks, people all working to improve the lives of young people and help them stay on track for success in life. Their motto of “Empower Youth Success” is spot on.
This year's theme was “School's Out, Make It Count!” - which for data people like us begs the question, what makes something count?
It may seem like this isn't a meaningful choice - delete vs inactive - but making the wrong choice can have a huge impact on your data management. At COMET, we often get the question how can I delete a child's record?'. Our short answer is, as a user, you can't. The longer answer is that we made a choice in the development of our system to allow users to make records inactive, but not to allow them to delete records. The idea is that, if you don't want to see some data, make it inactive. If you never want to see data again, delete it. The follow up question would be, can you really ever be sure that you'll never want to access some data again? This is why we didn't create a delete button, instead we have the 'inactive' checkbox.
We thought it might help to provide an overview on data available in COMET because who doesn't love to talk about data?! [wink, wink] But seriously, COMET is fundamentally "child centric", meaning that the system is designed to record data that serve or relate to the child. (e.g.: Mother of Birth, Father of Birth, Household Environment, Primary Care Provider). However, the breadth of data we can store related to a child is wide and comes in many forms.
This past Saturday I had the opportunity to be part of the Glasses for Kids Program offered by the Flaum Eye Institute and work with them on a trial phase use of the COMET database. I went into the morning not knowing what to expect; my only understanding of the program was the notes that I had taken at our monthly meetings and the setup that we'd done internally for their database. I must say, I was completely blown away! The program was a well-oiled machine, from the in-take services to the vision screening, ultimately resulting in children being fitted for their own pair of glasses.
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