Technology for social justice

Finding services made easy

Infoxchange was founded on the idea that an accurate, centralised database would greatly improve services in the homelessness sector.

Fast forward two decades and the original Bulletin Board has grown into Australia’s most extensive electronic health and welfare directory of over 275 000 up-to-date records of community information, known today as Service Seeker.

Infoxchange established Service Seeker, the first searchable electronic directory of community services in Australia in 1990 and has since developed and managed electronic health and welfare directories in every state and territory.

A key objective of Infoxchange has been to use technology for social justice. This has been the foundation for encouraging organisations not to duplicate work, but wherever possible to link together to use community and government resources more effectively.

Service Seeker provides 275 000 records of agencies and services that are efficiently returned through a number of intuitive search methods including: online, purpose build hardcopy directories, customised directories in electronic or hardcopy format, provision of data under license and data for service mapping.

"By using Service Seeker we have enjoyed incredible improvements in the access to information … which has encouraged communication amongst local doctors and increased access to services for their patients. Infoxchange was very responsive to our particular search and functionality requirements further ensuring that Service Seeker is user-friendly for GPs. We estimate that using Service Seeker saves the Whitehorse Division of General Practice approximately $10 000 per year," says Marianne Shearer, Executive Manger Whitehorse Division of General Practice.

The free online directory and its technological support have been regularly upgraded to keep pace with development and to maintain security of data. Service Seeker’s data is readily exported into many formats, providing benefits to community service organisations who can utilise the data to add value to their own networks and websites.

State governments, local governments and primary healthcare providers across Australia utilise Service Seeker data to improve their service delivery. This is testimony to the flexibility and adaptability of Service Seeker’s data management. 

"Service Seeker has direct clinical implications to the wellbeing of the client," says Ingrid Baarsma, from Peninsula Health Mental Health Service.

"One of the key features of data presentation has been the rigorous updating schedules and quality control processes. Data is updated according to a detailed and carefully defined ‘house’ style and edited to ensure consistency," says Robyn Karlsen, Manager of Infoxchange Service Seeker.

Service Seeker provides health and welfare directory information in every Australian state and territory. Directory classifications include: Family, Youth, Aged, Employment, Housing, Health, Financial, Disability, Drug and Alcohol, Ethnic, Law, Counselling, Recreation and Education and Training.

"Service Seeker is an indispensable asset to the Whitehorse community. It allows health and welfare professionals to instantly find extensive, accurate information about the services their patients and clients need," says Brett Wake, Service Coordination Project Manager, Central East Primary Care Partnership.

Find out more about Service Seeker 

Filed in: Media releases | Tagged as: Service directories

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