NPG Success Story
LifeBridge Community Services is Bridgeport’s oldest social service organization. For 168 years, its mission has been to help the most vulnerable of the Bridgeport community build brighter futures. Elevating youth and their families advances LifeBridge’s mission of empowering people to build a brighter future for themselves and their children. LifeBridge serves over 17,000 individuals annually, many of whom have multiple, complex issues that require the assistance of an array of the Agency’s services. Families and individuals are moved from crisis to stabilization as a first step towards emotional and economic self-sufficiency, then guided to achieve other targeted goals for personal and financial advancement. LifeBridge helps families develop a comprehensive plan for stability and growth. Clients are inspired and empowered by innovative programs that strengthen personal capability, develop skills, and build a pathway to economic self-sufficiency. Each client works with LifeBridge staff to develop an individual plan of comprehensive services that are delivered through four core programs: Economic Empowerment, Youth Services, Behavioral Health, and Social Enterprises. Through a recent merger, the Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition (BCAC) has joined LifeBridge. BCAC serves as the Center for Research, Advocacy and Public Policy at LifeBridge allowing LifeBridge to more fully meet its mission. LifeBridge provides its services in Fairfield and New Haven Counties and offers Sign Language Interpreting for the Deaf statewide
The integration of technology as a tool to provide services in a more cost effective manner was essential for LifeBridge becoming a high performing organization. Using data to make strategic decisions and measure program effectiveness is a necessary ingredient for long-term organizational sustainability.Through the support of the NPG, LifeBridge – along with our partners Family & Children’s Agency (Norwalk) and Family Centers, Stamford/Greenwich created a shared Information Technology collaborative called Fairfield County IT Collaborative (FCITC). By sharing infrastructure, software and support resources across all three agencies, FCITC has helped streamline all three agencies’ IT needs, and saved thousands in technology costs.
FCITC’s first order of business was to implement a shared electronic medical record (EMR) software platform to provide each partner agency with a client management database, an electronic medical record and a financial management system – all operating on a HIPAA-compliant hosting provider. This software provides all programs within the three partner agencies with improved data collection, automated manual processes, along with the cost savings and convenience associated with keeping electronic records for our clients. FCITC also addressed each agency’s dated infrastructure issues by replacing old desktop computers with Virtual Desktop technology and strengthened the overall server capacity. Overall, FCITC has helped LifeBridge reduce its annual IT operating expenses more than 30%, while dramatically improving productivity and client service responsiveness.
These technological improvements are directly related to increased programmatic results. The software used by all three (3) FCITC partners, has allowed LifeBridge to collect an array of data on our clients allowing the Agency to know who we are serving and how effective our services are relative to client progress toward their individual goals. The utilization of technology is and will continue to be a cost of doing business. NPG funds have allowed FCITC three partners to improve the use of technology to better manage our work. Across each of FCITC’s partner organizations, these new capabilities allow program staff to easily run reports and analyze client data and outcomes. These outcomes and data points are regularly used to identify strengths and dictate areas of improvement.