NJAMHAA News Spotlights Foothold Technology’s Commitment to Supporting Human Service Agencies

Foothold Technology is a proud partner of NJAMHAA and a long-time member of NJAMHAA’s Information Technology (IT) Council. As a vendor, we partner with associations like NJAMHAA throughout the country to provide their members with AWARDS, our web-based software for human services. With AWARDS, agencies have an easy, efficient way to document services and support, integrate case management, analyze data, and report outcomes to funders and other stakeholders.

This all sounds very technical, and it is, but it’s only part of the story and part of the way we support our customers. Nick Scharlatt, Co-Founder of Foothold Technology, recently spoke to NJAMHAA staff about why we partner with member organizations and associations like NJAMHAA. We thought our readers might enjoy seeing highlights of that conversation here on our blog. Are you partnered with a vendor who speaks your language?

This article originally appeared in the Spring Issue of NJAMHAA News:

“If providers are looking for a federally certified EHR [electronic health record], in some ways, they can choose any software that has been certified. We all meet the same criteria. What makes Foothold unique is our background in human services and our belief that all relationships should be true partnerships,” says Nick Scharlatt, Co-Founder of Foothold Technology.

Since 2003, Foothold Technology has been a member of NJAMHAA’s Information Technology Council and currently works with 32 of NJAMHAA’s provider members. In many ways, the reason for the longevity of Foothold’s relationship with NJAMHAA comes from the shared belief in what it means to be a partner. “Everyone at NJAMHAA is vendor-supportive by finding ways to connect vendors with providers. The ultimate relationship should be a triple win,” Scharlatt said. “In our instance, when an agency signs up with us, they win because they are getting an awesome product. We win with a new client in our community. And NJAMHAA wins because these connections help its mission by connecting members to technology.”

“While we are proud of our AWARDS software, it’s the additional supports we offer our client community that, we think, makes Foothold a different kind of company. Support and training are a big part of what we do, and, in some ways, they are more important than the software itself,” Scharlatt said. Throughout the year, Foothold offers educational webinars to help its clients improve not only their knowledge of the AWARDS software but sessions on recommendations for how to survive changes being implemented by both the state and federal administrations, using data to make a difference, and protecting personal data in a virtual world.

Much of Foothold’s commitment to supporting its client community at all levels comes from the company’s history. AWARDS was originally created by three human service agencies in New York City to meet their particular needs. “After 10 years Foothold was created as a spinoff of these agencies to make it available to providers throughout the country,” Scharlatt said. “We’re not just a software company. We come directly from the human services sector, and we ingrain that in everything we do. We help the people who help the people.”

Regarding the software, Foothold has looked to the future with its Interoperability functionality. “We still see agencies using paper records, so getting those agencies on an EHR is a big, important task. Once you are operating more efficiently with technology, the next step is determining how your agency can connect with its community to help those in need. By having true interoperability, providers can connect to Health Information Exchanges, hospitals, and other technological members of the community, which can help improve the coordination of care,” Scharlatt said. “Slowly but surely, we’re seeing that adoption. It’ll be an important win for the improvement of service delivery.”

Currently, AWARDS is the only record-keeping system that is certified as both a behavioral health EHR software system and an HMIS [Homeless Management Information System] software package. Not only does the software enable agencies to manage their records, but it also saves providers significant amounts of time: an average of 88 percent of time on documentation, which equates to a savings of 22 weeks per year. “AWARDS allows its users the freedom to focus on their missions of serving individuals,” Scharlatt said.