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Purple Binder empowers social workers and healthcare providers to address their clients’ social determinants of health. It centralizes information about social programs and provides a community hub by engaging case workers, social service agencies, and other stakeholders in a software platform. The platform includes a directory of agencies and the services that they provide, with case management software and research tools built around this data.
Purple Binder’s directory will allow social workers to easily find up-to-date information when they need it. Currently, case workers rely on individually compiled lists of service agencies to make referrals, resulting in duplicated efforts to collect information and keep it up-to-date. The directory will provide case workers with a better way to manage referral information, leveraging individual efforts to provide a reliable information commons for an entire community.
All too often, service providers from food pantries to mental health clinics make referrals to other agencies, as do community leaders, police officers, and city workers. Purple Binder would work for them, too, and for anyone trying to navigate the social safety net.
Drawing social workers towards a central platform will make Purple Binder attractive to agencies looking to disseminate information about their services. Agencies frequently change their service offerings due to unstable funding, and Purple Binder would provide agencies with a means to seamlessly “push” updates regarding those changes to an engaged audience of case workers.
This platform will also allow social workers to share their knowledge of the local safety net, and to answer each other’s questions.
Many social service agencies pay high annual subscription fees for case management software that is buggy and difficult to use. By applying modern web development methods, Purple Binder will offer a better service, in the cloud and at lower cost. The potential customer base will already be using the platform.
Usage of Purple Binder will provide aggregate data to create a real-time picture of services and needs in an urban area, an invaluable tool for policymakers and researchers alike.
A proof-of-concept version of the product has been market tested and is currently operational. Purple Binder is poised to launch its public pilot in Chicago on March 15. We are in talks with multiple agencies to be early adopters of the platform.