In 2008, I along with some friends started The Connections Book. The book served as a living resource for caregivers, providers, families and parents filled with resources, references and listings of providers who specialized in children with special needs.
The Connections Book has been an amazing resources but the truth is that over the years we have been limited by it. Most of you, like me, use at least one mobile app in your daily routine to access information. The app is the next generation and evolution of the book, which is why I thought it best to share three of the most compelling reasons that we built the Connections and CareStarter Apps. These patient focused technologies are founded on the principle of providing great resources for families of children with special needs. My goal has always been to elevate the level of care, better connecting families to providers helping to improve the level of care and information they receive.
Reason #1: We NEVER Run Out of It!
Due to the book’s popularity, we have referred to this book as, “The Disappearing Book.” We can not keep it in stock. We work hard to provide an easy to use caregiver experience that’s intuitive and fluid for you, your patient and family. With the Connections and CareStarter apps, the book is never out of print or elusive for providers, patients or families.
Reason #2: More Resources for You and Your Family!
Our mission has always been to empower caregivers with every resource provider in a geographic area in less than a second by simply handing them the Connections Book. The book grew in size after every printing making it more complicated for you to navigate.
Our model has always been driven by what is best for you and your family and now that we have the app(s) we can do exactly that. The Connections and CareStarter apps has over 1000 provider listings in the DFW area alone! That’s double the amount of resources delivered in our Connections Book, both which continue to be free to caregivers and providers to use.
Reason #3: Our Database and Resources Are Constantly Updated
We live in a post-Google world, where the expectation is that we, as consumers, have real time access to resources and information immediately. The minute that we send the design files for the Connections Book to our printer, some piece of data in the book - a phone number, an address, or a new resource provider- is already out of date. This has made me as well as others crazy over the years. It takes on average 12-14 months for a new issue to update you on information that you need today. With the Connections and CareStarter apps our database is constantly being improved, updated, and pushed out directly to you using our CareStarter technology. Every time that you open this app you are receiving better information than the day before. We're focused squarely on providing resources through technology that are patient and caregiver focused for families.
As a resource, we are only as well as the community we serve. Our technology encourages you to share suggestions, changes, updates and new provider listings. You can simply click a button and tell us the name of the provider and city and the CareStarter team will have it live on the app in 48 hours. Families and providers are able to access the most up to date and current resources and information, making for a better experience and more valuable resources immediately.
The transition to change is sometimes a hard one, but it doesn’t have to be. The Connections Book is evolving just as our need for resources, support and information has changed. We continue to put family members first, empowering them to find the best possible care for their children and loved ones.
For more information about the history of CareStarter, please check out my TedTalk below.