Default User Role: Program Manager
In the language of ETO, a Point of Service is where end users record their efforts, meaning time spent working with Participants, or Entities, or in General. Some Points of Service will instead track markers toward achievement. Common efforts and activities include class attendance, individualized counseling, case management sessions, and support groups.
Point of Service elements can measure achievement toward virtually any individual or organizational goal. Examples of participant outcomes include getting a job, refraining from substance abuse, arranging permanent housing, and mastering a skill. Point of Service elements can track Participants or Entities (third-party stakeholders such as volunteers) as well as “General Point of Service Elements,” which record activities such as administrative time that is not tied to program Participants or Entities.
The Point of Service Wizard is broken down into steps 1 through 6 and directs the user from one step to the next, which many users appreciate and find this tool to be easier to use than the Demographics or Assessment Wizard. However, in some ways, the Point of Service Wizard is more complex because the questions that it poses on Steps 3, 4, 5, and 6 are more theoretical in nature than the types of information that is captured with the other core Wizard features (Demographics & Assessment).
Step 1 – Name and Target
- Choose target of Point of Service being created (Participant, Entity, or General)
- Name the Point of Service (it's best to start with a verb, for example, Secure Job, Obtain Permanent Housing, Improve Participant Attitude, Increase TABE Test Score, Provide Behavior Management Counseling, Track Support Group Attendance). This will help data entry screens and reports to make sense.
- Set End Date if applicable (This rarely used feature applies only if the POS element should be automatically disabled on a certain date. This eliminates the ability to do back data entry. For this reason, it may make more sense to disable the POS element manually after all data is entered rather than entering an End Date.)
Step 2 – Select Type
- Numbers – This option has the capacity to capture numeric values of all kinds, including raw number, money, and percentages.
At its most powerful, it can demonstrate progress toward an Outcome, “Improve Literacy Scores”, and “Increase Participant Savings.”
Numbers can also capture information for simple tracking purpoes, “Track Emergency Assistance Dollars Provided”, and “Track Number of Diapers Provided.”
- Values – This is most complex and customizable POS type.
At its most powerful, it can demonstrate increments of progress along a continuum toward an Outcome, “Improve Participant’s Housing Situation” (where the Participant moves from “Homeless” to “Stabile Permanent Housing” along a series of steps). This example would be set to measure an increase on step 4 of the POS Wizard.
Values may also be used as a list of options. For example, a selection of Values to indicate whether a community outreach event was a “Health Fair,” “Educational Workshop,” “Literature Distribution” or “Press Conference.” This example would be set to measure neither an increase or decrease on step 4 of the POS Wizard.
- Yes/No – Yes/No POS elements can be used most simply to track attendance, where there is an expectation that a participant shows up; examples include “Track Adult Education Attendance”, “Track Contact with Participants” (the simplest type of case management tracker).
Yes/No can be used to track accomplishment of a long term objective. Examples include “Purchase a car”, “Graduate from high school,” “Gain sobriety.” This example would be set to measure an increase on step 4 of the POS Wizard. It most likely will not summarize all values (the purpose of the POS element is not to count how many cars a participant purchased).
Yes/No can be used to count smaller accomplishments, such as “Track Homework Completion”. This example would be set to measure neither an increase or decrease on step 4 of the POS Wizard. It most likely will summarize all values (the purpose of the POS element is to count how many times the participant completed his/her homework).
- Hours of Attendance – This measurement allows for recording the expected or actual hours each individual participant attends a class or activity on any given date. This is different than Yes/No Attendance, which captures time in one field, which is applied to each participant in attendance. There is an option to select a default value (See Step 3) which is useful in defining the number of hours Participants were expected to attend. Hours of Attendance can only recorded if a composite is created with 2 or more hours of attendance POS elements.
Entity Match Activity?: This is an additional setting that can be selected for any participant POS element that would be recorded with a participant and an Entity Contact matched with the participant at the same time. These matches can be made through Participants – Participant Match.
Step 3 – Refine Data Element
- Numbers – Further refine the Point of Service as Money, Percentage, or Raw Number. If the last of these options is chosen, there is a choice to Show Advanced Number Features to Allow Decimal Places (useful for something like “Improve Grade Point Average”) Minimum and Maximum Values can be set, too. Choosing this option restricts users to entering numbers that are within the range specified.
- Values – If this type is selected, first decide, “Should the Values be Weighted”, the answer to which is in almost every circumstance is No (weighted values are sometimes used in statistical applications). When No is clicked, a Value (Text) box will appear, and Values can be defined. To move to Value #2, use the “Tab” key. Note that users will be able to choose only one of the options. Point of Service elements do not allow “check all that apply” type answers.
- Yes/No – If this type is selected, decide “Does this Track Attendance?” Making a Yes/No POS element track attendance is determined on Step 3. There is a special group of reports in ETO Software™ built for Attendance, as well as a focus area in the Query Wizard. By clicking Yes on Step 3, this group of reports allows users to access attendance data easily. Also, by answering “Yes,” nothing will need to be done in Step 4.
- Default Value – Only used for Hours of Attendance, this feature allows you to set an automatic value (in hours) when recording attendance. For example, you could set a Default Value for 6 for “expected” hours of attendance and then create another Point of Service element (without a Default Value) for “actual” hours of attendance. This would allow you to measure the percentage of time a Participant had actually spent in class.
- Description allows you to provide a brief description of the POS element that will appear when you “mouse over” the POS element name on the Record Efforts screen. This can be helpful to new users of ETO software.
Step 4 – Set Measurements
- Enter Target Value – Use this feature if you are trying to hit a target with the Point of Service (for example, “Increase Participant Savings to $500”, where $500 is your Target Value)
- Are you Measuring? - Choose Increase, Decrease, or Neither to reflect how you wish to track the accomplishment of the Point of Service element. For example, you may want to create a Value Outcome to measure an Increase in progress along a defined continuum from “homeless” to “purchased a home.” You may create other Point of Service elements to record only efforts or activities and thus Neither an increase or decrease in progress. Choosing these options will determine the way an ETO Report will look when run on this POS element.
- Automatic Date of Next Contact - specify the number of days, weeks, months to automatically schedule a date of next contact to populate the staff's To Do List with a reminder.
Step 5 – Select Effort Qualifiers
Please review the EQ manual available via the link on the Manage Effort Qualifiers page in ETO to learn more about Effort Qualifiers.
On Step 5, a default contact location method can be selected. This will make the contact location disappear for the Record Efforts screen. This option is available regardless of whether Effort Qualifiers are available or attached.
*The Record Attendance screen does not show Effort Qualifiers. If an Attendance Point of Service is built with EQs attached, data should be entered using Multiple Participant Efforts. Effort Qualifier data will not appear on the Review Participant Efforts report if EQs were attached to an Attendance type Point of Service. Effort Qualifier data does not appear on the Review Entity Efforts or Review General Efforts reports.
Step 5 of the Point of Service Wizard is where users attach Effort Qualifiers to the Point of Service element being built. Begin by checking the EQs to attach. In the order column, type numbers in to determine the sequence of the EQs as they will appear on the Record Efforts screen.
Determine if the Last Value of the EQs should be Remembered. For example, if the EQ is capturing Goal, it probably makes sense to Remember Last Value so that each time a user Records and Effort containing that EQ, a Participant who has had a Goal entered will include that information.
If your site has configured the Manage Site Funds or Manage Program Funds feature and the EQ data should Show on Voucher, check that box.
Determine if the EQ should be required within the selected Point of Service. If the EQ was set to be required for all Outcomes on the Manage Effort Qualifiers screen, this box may be checked and grayed out.
Determine if the EQ should be available for Single Participant Efforts, Multiple Participant Efforts, or both. Keep in mind that like the Contact Location Method feeder table that appears on the Record Efforts screens, the EQ value that is entered will be applied to each of the Multiple Participants selected. If the EQ responses need to be individualized, do not select Multiple Participant.
Determine if the EQ should appear in Single (stand along) Points of Service, Composite Points of Service, or check both. Note that if Composite is selected, a conditional setting will appear - Determine if the EQ should appear for each POS within the Composite, or just Once for the Composite as a whole.
Note that it's not possible to have a mixture of Composite settings for EQs attached to the same Composite. If both choice types are selected, the Show Only Once will override the Show for Each.
Effort Qualifiers can be a bit tricky to work with. Please consider taking the free online training on Effort Qualifiers to learn more, and take advantage of Social Solutions' free Advanced Support if you have questions about the best way to configure Effort Qualifiers in your site.
Step 6 – Confirm Choices
This last page allows the user to review the Point of Service element you have built based on Steps 1-5. Depending on whether the measurement was set to Increase or Decrease (Outcome or Quality Indicator) or Neither (Output or Quality Indicator), a conditional element will require that the Point of Service is categorized as an Outcome, Quality Indicator or Neither. Please see the Point of Service manual available on the Point of Service Wizard page to learn more about the distinction. If the information is not correct, you can go back and correct it; if it is correct, click Submit and ETO Software™ will confirm that your Point of Service has been added to your Program.
Other Related Features:
You can also combine single point of service elements into a “Composite” that lets you record several kinds of information about an activity conveniently on a single screen. For example, you can create a Composite Point of Service to record when a case management meeting takes place, the topic of the meeting, and the Participant’s current progress.
Bear in mind that Point of Service elements are accessible only by the programs in which they were created. For example, a Point of Service created in your “Life Skills” program cannot be used in the “Adult Education” program on the same site. However, you can easily add an Point of Service to any other program with the Add Existing feature of ETO software.
(see also: Add Existing Effort)
Fields developed with the Point of Service Wizard appear on the Participant Efforts screen. They also appear on the following screens: Multiple Participant Efforts, Record Attendance, Record Hours of Attendance, Record Entity Efforts, Multiple Entity Efforts, General Efforts.