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ATX211 – a concierge hotline that engages with a person in difficulties caused when a family member has a health event or loses their wheels

The service blends savvy concierges with ATX social services needing to cope with complexity. It uses hi-tech to enable continual learning.

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The FCC requires phone companies to provide abbreviated dialing arrangements to make it easier for customers to access important services. Dialing 211 in Texas reaches a resource staffed by employees of the Texas Department of Health and Human Services.

The proposed service would be staffed by local qualified retired seniors who receive the initial call from the client with a predicament (to be implemented as an engagement). It is key that the concierge can handle the situation throughout the engagement.  The concierge will seek ideas from other concierges if necessary and may even pass leadership of the call to a more appropriate concierge. The concierge will identify and engage people who are service providers to satisfy the client's needs. 

A list of actions will be built by the group and converted into instructions for a Chatbot to follow up with the client to keep the momentum of the engagement rolling; resulting in a successful engagement and happy client.

This group of the client, concierge(s), and service provider(s) will be linked through a social network technology providing real-time collaboration with a voice link for members of the group who are mobile.

The advantage of staffing with retired seniors is that they are resourceful, would be able to handle new situations. They would know the local Austin area, and are trustworthy. They would be a calming presence for the client. I have a network of Austin leaders involved with organizations that attract seniors and believe this network can find the staffing for this endeavor.

In order to maximize efficiency, the team would be aided by a knowledge base of ATX services which would be a quick, growing reference for services to help the person in need.

To maximize effectiveness, the plan of action for the person in need would be captured and alarms would be set to assure that the plan is being carried out to resolve the situation. It is expected that in many cases the person in need is incapacitated enough to not be able to follow up.

This would be a learning system. Over time emergency needs would be categorized, solutions documented, and results captured from the team of teams to speed future calls. Automated responses would be incorporated to quickly handle ad hoc situations. 

As more innovative solutions to repetitive needs emerge, they could be absorbed by Austin Impact and Social organizations so that the work of the teams is streamlined and whole Austin community benefits.

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

There are three major stakeholders in this solution: the client with a predicament, members of the concierge teams who plan and manage the solution, and the organizations that will be called upon to provide services in an engagement. Chief among the service providers are those providing transportation. They will provide the focus to make the plans happen whether it is to get the person that has the predicament somewhere or to get their children somewhere or to bring a service provider to them. Providing them with the EASY System that I have proposed in this competition, would be an excellent tool for this proposal.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Initial Design - you are still exploring the idea and have not tested it with users

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

This approach has not been tested with users, nor has it been piloted.

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

I plan to leverage Aging 2.0, an international organization that promotes innovation for the aging. I am a member of the leadership team of the Austin Chapter. This proposal features using seniors to staff the concierge teams. Among their 8 Grand Challenges is Engagement & Purpose and Caregiving (i.e., for the Eastern Crescent Seniors with a predicament). Aging 2.0 has an innovation fund and could help in the financing of this solution.

Funding Request

  • $50,000

Rough budget (500 characters)

Team Coordinator (10 wks., 50% time @ $60/hour) $6K Recruiter for concierge members and sources of service as well as creating a roadmap for adding services and to backup the team coordinator (2 mos.) $10K Person to build the platform (2 mos.) $10K Assumes the concierge team volunteers their time Adaptation of current CapMetro for this use case (2 mos.) $10K Recognition for the initial concierge and team $3K Dedicated phone lines for team ($1K) Contingency (20%) $10K

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

In the first 30 days, the following activities would be done: 1. Find organizations with services that match the essential needs of the target user 2. Design call center for remote concierges 3. Identify/recruit/train superstar retired seniors to staff the pilot concierge team 4. Select an organization to screen/direct candidates for ATX211 help 5. Build a catalog of pertinent organizations and the services they provide 6. Identify critical data for evaluating success, identifying additional services, and learning client needs 7. Establish a partnership with Aging 2.0 8. Set up a telephony platform switch including IT tools (Slack, Knowledge DB, and Event-Decision-Action Bot) In the second 30 days: 1. Start recruiting clients and addressing their needs 2. Continue to build a catalog with new situations team can handle 3. Collect data to prove that ATX211 is economically viable 4. Build a model for scaling ATX21 with multiple teams 5. Create a roadmap to add new services.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

ATX 211's success depends on the success of each engagement. Two key measurements are the success rate and mean time to resolve an engagement. These will be analyzed from data collected by the social network platform. A subjective trend analysis would determine the average cost of resolving each predicament. The cost would be broken out based on the levels of effort and the type of cost (management, computers, and phone lines). Trends in demand for each degree of difficulty will be predicted from the roadmap of future services and by surveying the social services providers on board and others we know. The data collected above about the growth of demand for help in each of the levels of effort and resources required to resolve an engagement will be analyzed to provide a forecast of future needs and costs. This analysis will be reviewed with the helping organizations so they can prepare to handle the demand.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

After the pilot, the results will be laid out in a package to solicit seed $ to continue operation. Groups we used in the pilot and those we expect to use soon will be able to be charter members for their own branding. ATX211 offers them a chance to participate in more complex needs - a differentiator for such groups. This evaluation will be done each quarter. The money will be due within 5 working days. New service providers will not be solicited for funds until after being onboard for 6 mos.

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