CONNECT Go-Live Migration Information & Timeline

This message contains critical information for current users of the CONNECT system. Please see below for a detailed timeline and instructions as we migrate and prepare your agencies for go-live. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your local CONNECT team member, or reach out to megan.grotzke@mt.gov.

Thursday 9/19: Access to the CONNECT system will be locked down at the end of the day in order to start running the final migration, combining each of the siloed systems into one statewide database.

Friday 9/20: The CONNECT system will be unavailable during the migration for configuration purposes; CONNECT team members will be working behind the scenes to add each agency’s additional information into the system in order for things to work properly when users log in on Monday.

A copy of the new onboarding form is available here: CONNECT Agency Account Form 20190914 If you have not already provided the information to your team member – please return the form before the end of the day on Friday 9/20.

Current CONNECT users should use a paper Release of Information to capture any necessary referrals on Friday, logging in to send the referrals when the system is back up on Monday. Hard copies can be downloaded from your respective systems through close of business on Thursday, and will be available from your local team member as well as on this website. Please record any referral status updates that happen during the system down time and log them on Monday as well, backdating to reflect the date of the change.

Sat 9/21 – Sun 9/22: System configuration will continue over the weekend, so the system will be unavailable for use.

Monday 9/23: System go-live! All users will have to log in to the new system and sign an MOU as a user, and all agencies will sign a new MOU and review their agency account info that was entered during the system down time; any paper MOUs from Friday should be entered and associated referrals sent out. Referral updates should be entered and backdated to reflect the actual date of status change.

Monday 9/23 – Friday 9/27: User training will be available through a variety of in-person and virtual events – reach out to your local coordinator for details. A quick user guide will be provided on Monday via this blog, so check back for details.

Two virtual training opportunities courtesy of Julie Bir at Lewis & Clark Public Health via Zoom – anyone can click to register for Tuesday, September 24 at 3pm or Thursday, September 26 at 9am.

Watch for another post on Monday morning with further instructions.

 

CONNECT Montana at DPHHS – update

In January 2019, the management of the CONNECT system moved from the local level (at Lewis and Clark Public Health) to the state level, now housed within the Department of Public Health and Human Service’s Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Bureau. This transition was facilitated via upper managerial support, with a series of grants to provide a foundation of monetary support. The statewide model provides increased capacity and solid infrastructure for achieving the long-term goals of CONNECT.

The Bureau recently hired Alex Long as the new Statewide CONNECT Coordinator, who started her work on February 4. Long’s role is partnership development and support, system coordination and management. Additional staff will support Long in her new role, including former Lewis & Clark Public Health CONNECT Coordinator Megan Grotzke, who now works at DPHHS as a project manager.

This update will answer some lingering questions and outline which items require further planning and attention. It is important to note that this is a high-level perspective of current CONNECT activities. More in-depth information will be shared via blog post as details are established.

This has been a massive undertaking, and our attention has been focused on the immediate, critical items in the early stages of the transition. We want to be transparent and keep valued partners in the loop as this work moves forward. All important communications will be channeled through this platform until further notice, so please subscribe to this blog and share with partners who may want updates.

System Updates

Noble Software Group is the software development company that is responsible for the management, maintenance and upgrades of the CONNECT system. This partnership is essential for the operation of the system. Currently, the Bureau is in the process of completing a series of important tasks to ensure a smooth transition to the Department and statewide expansion of the system.

First, it is critical that there is a contract in place between the State and Noble. This has been a major focus for CONNECT staff, and we are nearing completion of contract development. The state-level contract will eliminate the need for each participating county or region in Montana to hold an individual contract with Noble, as was the case in previous years. The Bureau is actively negotiating costs associated with services, primarily “user fees,” as part of the contract with Noble.

Also, Noble is in the process of developing a requested enhancement package including significant improvements for users (more logical, efficient functionalities, improved user capabilities, electronic signatures, etc.) and administrators (more intuitive onboarding and agency maintenance, automatic tracking of MOU expiration and annual agency updates, etc.). CONNECT program staff are working closely with Noble to ensure that these upgrades are completed in a timely fashion. Noble currently estimates a 3-4 month timeframe for completion of all requested system enhancements. If anything changes, this will be communicated immediately.

Statewide Expansion

The CONNECT system is transitioning from siloed county systems to an interconnected statewide referral network. As an organized effort, the Bureau plans to implement the statewide roll-out in 2 phases, based on the 13-region map found on our Statewide Expansion page (this will be updated during the strategic planning process). As a part of this expansion, each region will be required to have a coordinator to support the implementation and growth of CONNECT and work closely with other regional partners.

As part of the enhancement package that is currently in development, the system is being updated to include closed-loop capabilities throughout the entire statewide network, with built-in safeguards to ensure that referrals are only going to appropriate service providers. Currently, service providers (called agencies in CONNECT) are only able to accept and receive referrals from other agencies in their respective systems. This new statewide referral network will allow Montanans to get services they need, no matter where they are in the state.

Coordinators

For those currently serving in a CONNECT Coordinator role, the program has identified a series of supports and methods of communication. We plan to schedule a check-in, introductory call for the second week in March. Please be on the lookout for an email describing this call and try your best to attend. In addition to the check-in call, we will be planning for a monthly group call for all coordinators as well as an annual in-person statewide meeting.

During this transition, it has become apparent that the role and duties of the statewide coordinator versus the regional coordinator and system administrator needs to be defined. This will be communicated as part of this ongoing orientation process. The program staff cannot overstate the importance of planning, and will be working with all the current and prospective regions on developing an individualized long-term sustainability plan.

Survey: Planning & Partnerships

Statewide partnerships and collaboration will make the CONNECT expansion successful. The collaborative work includes everything from staff support and system promotion to financial contributions for system upgrades and maintenance. There are entities from a variety of disciplines interested in utilizing CONNECT, as it is caters to such a wide audience. To prepare an inclusive CONNECT project plan, we created two surveys for current and prospective regional and statewide partners.

Regional Readiness Survey
(to identify what we need to do to support each region individually):

https://mdphhs.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cGP9q5qh6MxjQmF

Statewide Partner Survey
(to identify State of Montana or other statewide partners interested in CONNECT):

https://mdphhs.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0MMy0VFn2PdJhuR

If you’re interested in completing the survey, please include all the details you would like the team to know regarding your interest in CONNECT and share with any partner organizations who may be interested in providing input. Your participation is appreciated!

Once the survey has closed, the results will be compiled and synthesized for evaluation. The results will be utilized at a Bureau strategic planning meeting to identify key partners, begin the referral mapping process to establish a baseline that will allow us to track growth over time, and create a detailed work plan. The strategic planning meeting is scheduled for the end of March; updates will be communicated through this blog.


Please subscribe to this blog to receive email notifications as updates are available. Thank you for your patience during this transition – it is an exciting time for Montana. Let’s get CONNECTED!

CONNECT Job Opportunity

Hi, everyone!  I recently accepted a position with DPHHS and my last day as the CONNECT Referral Coordinator will be December 12.  I sincerely enjoyed my time here at Lewis & Clark Public Health, and am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this innovative endeavor.  I want to thank all of our partners across the state who have contributed to the success of the referral system – I look forward to seeing the continued growth and expansion of CONNECT in the future!

  • In my absence, Noble Software Group will be fielding technical support questions for Lewis & Clark County.

Email Support
Email our support center directly, we will be in touch with you in no time.
support@noblesg.com

Call Support
Give us a call! We will gladly walk you through whatever the issue may be.
(530) 214-0001

  • For other CONNECT inquiries, please contact:

Jacqueline Isaly
Community Health Promotion Division Administrator
Lewis & Clark Public Health
1930 9th Ave, Helena, MT 59601
JISALY@lccountymt.gov
406-457-8958 office
406-457-8990 fax

If you or someone you know may be interested in the Statewide CONNECT Program Manager position, it’s open until December 9th (link here). The Regional CONNECT Coordinator position will be posted soon, so check back on our L&C County employment page if you’re interested! 

Sincerely,

Megan Grotzke
Referral Coordinator
Lewis & Clark Public Health
406-457-8979 | 1930 9th Ave