By Linda Currey Post
During a drug overdose, every minute matters. And when first responders have immediate access to a patient’s medical history and know the properties of the drug involved and the best treatment options, the outcome can be life instead of death. Up-to-the-minute information is particularly critical in saving a person who is overdosing on street drugs, which contain constantly changing combinations of deadly ingredients.
To stay a step ahead in the battle against drug addiction and mental illness, Turning Point, the United Kingdom’s leading treatment and counseling agency, has adopted Oracle Content and Experience Cloud, part of Oracle Cloud Platform. The cloud service gives therapists and clinicians at Turning Point’s 250 treatment centers across England instant updates on the changing composition of street drugs, as well as access to the most recent thinking about how to treat mental illness and drug and alcohol dependence.
“There has been a shift in focus in this country toward getting people the help they need before their problems become worse,” says Amarjit Dhillon, Turning Point’s chief information officer.
Digital Tools Bring Better Health Outcomes
To help with that effort, under Dhillon’s leadership, Turning Point has embraced the latest digital technology, which now allows the agency to provide more-accurate diagnoses, deliver treatments faster, and improve health outcomes for the 30,000 people who use Turning Point’s services every day. The agency’s efforts, Dhillon says, also help to improve public safety by swiftly identifying and helping people with mental health issues.
With Oracle Content and Experience Cloud, we’re developing world-class content that will help people self-assess their use of alcohol and drugs and think about making a change in that area of their life.”–Johnny Barton, Strategic Solutions Lead, Turning Point
“We’re interested in getting to people early and getting to people with the right pathways of treatment,” he says.
That is where a carefully curated content management system can make all the difference.
Turning Point distributes its life-saving content across a wide variety of platforms to reach its existing and potential clients in the manner most convenient to them. Those methods of communication include traditional phone conversations with call center staffers, in-person consultations with doctors and therapists, smartphone interactions with a mobile app, and even text “conversations” with a computerized chatbot designed with Oracle Mobile Cloud. Content management informs all those communications channels.
“When you are dealing with life-and-death situations, it’s so critical to have the right treatment information at hand,” says Tanu Sood, an Oracle senior principal marketing director. “Since the content resides in Oracle Content and Experience Cloud, you can create it once, and then publish it across any channel and any device. And you can update the information on the fly, from anywhere at any time.”
Headquarters: London, England
The expansion of content management systems to work on a range of devices beyond websites is the biggest change during her 20-plus years in the field, says Mariam Tariq, a senior director in Oracle’s product management group focused on Oracle Content and Experience Cloud.
In the beginning, she recalls, “content was tied to the templates and the page layouts where the information was presented. Now, with the advent of mobile custom applications, voice-activated devices, and more, one of the most critical concepts for those of us in development is to build content management systems that are agnostic in presentation.” The agnostic approach to development, she explains, allows organizations to set up a content hub for which they can write content once and then distribute it automatically to web pages, smartphones, chatbots, and other communications channels.
Turning Point’s digital strategy also includes Oracle Service Cloud, which the agency uses to create patient histories that staff members can access from anywhere at any time to help with emergency care as well as to guide routine interactions and to schedule appointments for those who need immediate care.
Johnny Barton, Turning Point’s strategic solutions lead, is responsible for making sure all of the agency’s communications channels work smoothly and offer consistent content that is designed to capture the interest of potential clients.
“The more appealing our content is, the more likely it is that people will turn to us for advice,” Barton notes.
Interactive Tools Encourage Treatment
Along with developing helpful content for all of Turning Point’s platforms, Barton is overseeing a modernization of the Turning Point website, also built on Oracle Content and Experience Cloud, that will launch this spring. He envisions an interactive tool that will engage readers with quizzes about drug and alcohol use, informational videos about relaxation techniques, and other content presented with a hopeful approach to encourage people to seek treatment. Toward that end, the site will feature a big button labelled “Get Help”—powered by an Oracle Policy Automation form embedded in Oracle Content and Experience Cloud—that will allow visitors to register to see a clinician.
“With Oracle Content and Experience Cloud, we’re developing world-class content that will help people self-assess their use of alcohol and drugs and think about making a change in that area of their life,” Barton says. “I want them to be able to help themselves.”
People who click on that Get Help button will get a quick callback from a Turning Point staffer who will offer to set up an appointment. Total time elapsed from pushing the button to actual consultation with a professional will be dramatically less than the national average, Barton says. The website’s rules-based “smart form” will present users only with questions germane to their request for treatment, instead of the endless general questions on standard patient information forms.
“The website will be an engagement tool for us,” Barton says. “It’s the opportunity for us to be in somebody’s pocket, or in somebody’s front room, to give them some helpful information—not just about what Turning Point does, but about what they can do to help themselves.”
With the advent of mobile custom applications, voice-activated devices, and more, one of the most critical concepts for those of us in development is to build content management systems that are agnostic in presentation.”–Mariam Tariq, Senior Director, Product Management, Oracle
The traditional stigma associated with asking for help with addiction is gradually giving way. Dhillon applauds the recent high-profile efforts of the Royal Family to encourage citizens to seek help for depression and other mental health issues. And UK Prime Minister Theresa May just appointed a Minister of Loneliness in recognition that people isolated by disease or old age and living on their own without friends and family nearby are particularly susceptible to depression and other mental illness.
Meanwhile, Barton, a long-time Turning Point employee who builds chatbots for fun in his free time, takes pride in what he and his colleagues accomplish every day.
“We’re creating something new here that makes a difference in people’s lives,” he says. “If we were not here, some of these people would fall through the gaps. I’m proud I can tell my children that we’re helping people who have issues turn their lives around.”
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Photography by John Blythe