Customer Story
4 min read

Microboards Australia

Giving a voice to the voiceless with Podio

November 28, 2023


With Podio, Microboards Australia are able to:


  • Completely eliminate verbal 30-minute shift handoff reports


  • Easily monitor and track financial, social, and life goals for focus people


  • Potentially save lives with detailed health and life tracking in Podio apps



Finding the Microboard model

For Jaquie Mills, a mother of two, her personal life was a catalyst for her recent professional work. Her eldest son, Eli, faces the challenges of Angelman Syndrome, a genetic disorder that limits his ability to live independently and without pain. 


Even with the amazing technology available for Jaquie and Eli, it doesn’t come without shortcomings. The monitoring necessary to keep people like Eli safe and healthy is immense, with detailed logging, reports, and health assessments. This led Jaquie to discovering the Microboard model, which brings a legally incorporated group of people around an individual to devise and implement a comprehensive life plan. She decided that this approach could work very well for her situation and for others in Australia. So, in 2008, Microboards Australia was officially started.



Podio to the rescue

With 5 families initially included in the Microboards Australia system, a few gaps were identified that could be improved. With Eli living independently, Jaquie observed heightened anxiety around getting daily reports, accurate handoffs, and clear progress status of goals and achievements. They relied on verbal discussions to get information around a Microboard, as well as sporadic written notes someone felt was appropriate to log, creating discrepancies in tracking.


“As a parent, you juggle a hundred different concerns, so how can we ensure a person’s safety?” -Jaquie Mills, Managing Director, Microboards Australia


Jaquie then tasked a member of her team to go and “review everything” in the market to find a technology solution to help address these issues, and that’s where Podio came in. “I found this thing called Podio. I think it’s what we need. It offers full customization that is tailored to fit our needs” he said to Jaquie. So, they started testing. “We trialed making shift reports in Podio with Eli and it was fantastic. We trialed it with another family and it worked really well, and it kept growing from there.” said Jaquie.



Immediately seeing value

The first use case they saw for Podio was with shift reports. Not only were they time consuming, but also degrading to the focus person. “What they tell us is that they hate the verbal reports because it’s two people talking about your every moment.” Jaquie said. “It’s horrible.” So, implementing a Podio form that allows all of that data to be entered in throughout the shift, without manual writing, saved time and dignity.


Microboards Australia expanded its Podio usage across more Microboards families, and the number of tailored apps grew in parallel. It quickly became more than just tracking medical information, but also tracking daily and weekly goals, spending decisions, social engagements, and color-coded journaling that categorized good, neutral, and bad moments. The increase in apps created by the families has made it easy to share templates with new families to onboard them quickly into Podio and jumpstart their tracking. 


Podio also easily allows staff to look at dashboards and reports of these trends to see what things could be causing changes in behavior, enhancing the ability to maintain the well-being and comfort of the focus individual. The ability to also set multiple choice and checkbox-type fields limits the amount of actual typing that’s necessary, saving crucial time documenting hourly or daily tasks or values. An additional time-saver is the creation of an Alerts app, where members are required to confirm their acknowledgement ensuring that all important information is accounted for.


Podio has not only eliminated gaps in tracking and reporting on a focus person, but is potentially saving lives. One person ended up in the hospital due to extreme fatigue and Podio data was able to identify the issue swiftly. “The person went from drinking a liter and a half every day to three liters a day prior to hospitalization.” said Jaquie. “We shared those records with the hospital and identified that the person needed insulin. If that hadn’t gotten picked up from his Podio records, who knows what could’ve happened there.”


Lastly, they’ve used Podio to train and onboard new members and families to ensure the system remains strong and efficient from the beginning. Prior to their first shift, they had to read and learn the modules. “It’s been amazing in terms of really shortening that training period, while producing better outcomes.” said Jaquie. At every turn, Podio has been able to scale effectively to support now over 100 families.



Future growth for Microboards Australia with Podio

As Microboards Australia continue to grow their network of families, their knowledge of Podio will only continue to grow. They are beginning to dig more into workflow automation and establishing relationships within Podio to further enhance their operational efficiency.


For Eli, his story continues to inspire. From the beginning, his story is far more than just a medical condition: “He has a rich network of friends. He has a girlfriend who he loves very much.” Jaquie proudly states. “He's a public speaker, so he uses his communication device to write talks. He's presented it conferences all over Australia about his life.”



Discover more on the Microboards Australia story, including the option to donate.

Find out how you can optimize your operations with Podio