Advocate Provides Duke University an Integrated Approach for Care Coordination of High-Risk Students

After the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, managing student conduct became a priority for Duke University. However, the Student Affairs office used a homegrown database that did not track or integrate incident reports from other campus departments, including student conduct. Care coordination for high-risk students was difficult due to each office having its own siloed reporting database.

“A big significant change for us has been the overall customer support. Having someone we can reach out to whenever we have a question and having that individual attention has been really helpful."

Amy Powell,
Associate Dean of Students


When Associate Dean of Students, Amy Powell, began working in the office of Student Affairs at Duke University, she was initially focused on the overall coordination of care for high-risk students. She realized their homegrown database did little to integrate student records from other campus departments, particularly student conduct. In order to fully support how high-risk students manage all aspects of their wellbeing, Duke wanted to implement a case management solution that would track all available reports from an individual student and integrate them into a single report that would provide a comprehensive view of the student’s profile. Amy then reached out to other schools to understand what successful strategies had been employed to track students of concern. However, she quickly learned that case managers were scarce at other universities, and most were not utilizing software to track care coordination of high-risk students. Symplicity’s case management solution, Advocate, offered Duke the ability to integrate student conduct and student-of-concern reports for better care coordination.


Duke implemented Advocate in 2009 to track and coordinate student care across campus departments. The new Student Affairs office, Duke Reach, relied heavily on Advocate’s CARE reports. Whenever a student submitted a report to the office, either by calling, emailing, or submitting the report through the Duke Reach website, the staff immediately escalated it into a CARE report and tracked it in their system. These reports involved anything from health concerns, sexual misconduct, and/or academic concerns. One of the office’s three Care Managers would then follow up with the student and connect him or her with student services, who assisted in triage.

The school also benefited from the one-on-one customer support offered by the Symplicity team. Amy and her staff worked closely with their Advocate Customer Relationship Specialist, Jake Acton, to modify and customize their database to support ongoing case management at their school.


Implementing Advocate has effectively changed the way Duke tracks, stores, shares and accesses student information. The use of CARE reports has helped reduce the amount of time spent collecting reports and coordinating care for students of concern. Duke Reach Case Managers can now easily access a student’s history and manage the entire case management process through Symplicity’s software.

CARE reports facilitated the school being able to identify and effectively address students of concern before, during, and after an incident. High-risk students who reported multiple incidents would get placed on a CARE action plan. On average, the office tracked around 300 student CARE action plans in case management, with 150 new referrals per year.

“It's been a great platform to use from a case management perspective, especially the use of CARE action plans and being able to tie all student information together."



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