How much does it cost to sign up for CONNECT?

There used to be a fee structure of $100 per user per year to be a part of CONNECT.  A new contract with Noble Software Group was negotiated by DPHHS in 2019, switching to a maintenance fee that will eliminate the user fees altogether, so there is no longer a charge to be a part of the referral network.

Where is the data housed?

Noble Software Group houses the CONNECT data in their secure servers, but they do not own the data and it can be accessed by our agencies at any time.

How do I get signed up?

Reach out to one of our CONNECT team members, and they will work with you to answer questions, take you through the brief onboarding process, provide training and ongoing technical assistance to your agency’s users.

Is CONNECT confidentiality compliant?

CONNECT is HIPAA, FERPA, 42CFR and IDEA compliant.  Three attorneys were involved in writing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), and it covers all the bases.  A team at Georgetown University picked apart the CONNECT Electronic Referral System during an info sharing seminar and no holes or flaws were found.

How much time does it take to send a referral using CONNECT?

From start to finish, the entire process takes no more than a couple short minutes.  The steps are simple and the system is easy to navigate, so the more you use CONNECT, the faster the entire process becomes. The new electronic signature and sign-by-text features will make the process even more streamlined.

Do I need to log in to CONNECT each morning to check for new referrals?

No need to log in each morning.  CONNECT will prompt you to log in when a new referral is received or when an ROI is set to expire by sending a system-generated email.  Once you receive the email, you can click on the link provided and once you’re past the login screen, you will be taken directly to the new referral.

Who can see which referrals have been sent and received?

To protect the privacy of our subjects in the system, only the sending and receiving agency can view the referrals that have been made between them.  However, any agency that has been selected on one release of information (ROI) has the ability to view that document, thereby seeing which other agencies the subject has given permission to refer to.

Can a client revoke permission once they’ve signed a release of information (ROI)?

Yes, permission can be revoked at any time.  There is a simple process that allows the client to sign the ROI in a separate area that revokes the original permission that was given, thereby inactivating the ROI and all associated referrals in the system.

What happens if a referral results in a client being placed on a wait list?  How do we know which agencies have openings prior to sending the referrals out?

Because providers’ availability changes so frequently, CONNECT does not currently have a feature that displays openings.  The best approach when setting up a release of information (ROI) is to have the client give permission to make referrals to multiple agencies, for example, permission is given to refer to 4 different mental health providers, but the referral is sent out to the client’s preferred provider first.  Then, if the client is placed on a wait list, a referral can be made to one or more of the other mental health providers that were selected on the ROI.  Getting permission ahead of time saves the client and provider time down the road.

What if the recipient provider doesn’t pick up the referral right away?

The system tracks referrals from the moment they’re sent, providing real-time updates for the sending provider to monitor along the way.  The system sends an auto-generated email to the agency’s gatekeeper when an incoming referral arrives, alerting that person or persons that they should log in and work with the referral.  In the unlikely event that a referral is not acted upon in a timely manner, the recommended action is to reach out to the person via phone or email to see what might be causing the delay.

Can you re-open a closed referral?

Yes, a referral can be resurrected and set to an open status after it has been closed, assuming that the associated release of information is still valid.

What are the referral status update options?

Enrolled in Services
On Waiting List
Not Started – Moved out of area
Not Started – Referred to other program
Not Started – On Waiting List
Not Started – Unable to contact individual
Not Started – Declined services
Not Completed – Moved out of the area
Not Completed – Dropped out
Not Completed – Whereabouts unknown
Closed – Successful completion
Other (please explain)

In the new user interface, can you still print a hard copy of the ROI and capture a client’s signature like you could before?

Though the electronic signature and sign-by-text options are quick and convenient, it will still be possible to print a hard copy and have the client sign it, uploading the document in PDF form.

What if a client doesn’t want any other agencies to see that permission has been made to refer to a certain agency, for example, substance use treatment, HIV testing, etc.?

In that instance, the agency would be set up on its own release of information (ROI), ensuring that only the sending and receiving party can even see that the ROI exists.  If other referrals are being made, those can be set up on a separate ROI and sent out as usual.

What technical safeguards are put into place by Noble Software Group to ensure the protection of the data within CONNECT?

You can view the statement from Noble here:  Technical Safeguards

Does Noble Software Group have a plan for what to do in the event of a security or service disruption?

Absolutely.  You can view the statement from Noble here:
Noble Policy – Security and Service Disruption Events