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Penelope

Cloud-based case management software for human services.

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Penelope Reviews

Reviews summary

Pros

Excellent-the Penelope staff are very friendly and helpful. We had lots of questions when we originally launched Penelope and the staff were very helpful and understanding of our needs.

Jacquelyn C.

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We love the ability to configure Penelope to best fit our organization, and we look forward to the reporting updates in the near future.

Elena M.

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Representative was our point of contact/penelope expert and did a fabulous job of walking us through the significant amount mapping and customization that our case management process requires.

Kasey K.

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Cons

This software is not intuitive. It could be the way the administrator had it set up but it was extremely frustrating and confusing to use -- even after years of using it.

Stephanie S.

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Her presentations were very monotone & quite boring. We found ourselves drifting away from the meeting.

Trish B.

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The lack of application or mobile software for worker use. I always get the weird look when workers ask "is there an app?" and I say "No" I'd certainly like to change that response.

Nicole B.

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Overall rating

4.3

(73)

5

4

3

2

1

36

29

2

4

2

89%
positive reviews
88%
would recommend this app

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73 reviews

recommended

Overall Rating
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

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I like this program!!

Reviewed 3 years ago

At first it was daunting as there is SO much information but once we figured it out I love it! I'm part of the team that works on our documentation to make things flow easier. It's great to be able to tailor it to our company needs.

Pros

Being able to read my staff input by generating a report whenever I need it. Being able to pull reports to the tableau so I can see my numbers just like that.

Cons

Only being able to access from work computers with the VPN installed there. Would be great to be able to access from personal computers.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

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EXcellent system for client files and caseload management

Reviewed 2 months ago

We love Penelope for report writing and for documenting outputs for different projects including quality assurance reviews - we know that we are not using Penelope to it's full capacity and there is a lot more potential for improved and different methods of reporting.

Pros

The user interface for our frontline counsellors is very intuitive which is efficient in getting new users up and running and is excellent for day-to-day casen documentation and file management

Cons

Customization of the software was a challenge for us to understand our needs with respect to the many different functions and options available - using the sandbox was helpful in working out a few of the errors we made in planning

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support

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UI is poor. Reporting function only in PDF. not SMS friendly. Case file structure = privacy issues

Reviewed 4 years ago
Pros

it has a diary schedule linked to cart items. it's god if you only want Penelope to do one thing, ie, ATAPS service & payments

Cons

UI poor resulting in clunky data entry and more time spent entering data. not mobile / tablet friendly Reporting function does not provide dashboard, only reports in pdf or that you have to cut and past into Excel. Case file / service file structure creates privacy issues - we may have to move away from this product on the basis of legal advice Lack of technical support available in Australia

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Well developed database

Reviewed 2 months ago

Overall really good experience, staff are knowledgeable and great to work with

Pros

This is a really well developed database. Such flexible features to customize it to your needs.

Cons

There are some restrictions with the features and reporting that require work on our end to make things work they way we need it to work. You are not able to delete errors so you are left with a lot of extra entries that make certain parts busy and confusing.

Overall Rating
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Penelope from the Perspective of Reporting and Program Surveillance

Reviewed 8 months ago

I was hired to obtain, process and analyze the raw Penelope data because the built in reports were not sufficient for our reporting purposes. To be fair to Athena, I've observed this is true with any database system; built in reports for any database are static and the reporting needs of non-for-profit organizations are dynamic and shift at least annually. Initially, I had trouble using my credentials...

Pros

Penelope is comprehensive in terms of documenting service appointments, client assessments, referrals, notes, agency workshops and meetings, etc. One can access the raw data via ODBC and prepare the data for reporting, projections for grant writing or program surveillance. One can also use the built in reports for these. There is a feature that allows appointments to sync with Microsoft Outlook that is very handy. Athena Software has a lot of documentation for Penelope that I have found extremely helpful. Managers can look at staff caseloads easily.

Cons

I found that support for accessing the raw data, especially in terms of data preparation is very limited unless you pay for a support meeting. They do provide data dictionaries and data maps which I found very helpful. Using login credentials for downloading the data can be frustrating initially because they are not immediately actualized by the engineers. Once that occurs, ODBC works fine and is reliable. With other issues Athena responds fairly quickly. Also, they do not provide support for using R. Thankfully, there is sufficient documentation from R developers that enabled me to figure it out.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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many used

Reviewed 8 months ago

We are a unique organization in many ways, (arent we all) and the configuration of the software was an undertaking not for the faint of heart. We did have issues where Athena struggled to understand our business model during configuration. Once we overcame this issue, Athena has been very flexible, understanding and creative in helping us maximise the softwares uses to our organizations specific needs. We have found great value for money in this partnership.

Pros

The engage tool (client communication) has made a big difference to our interactions with clients, particularly during COVID lockdowns. The customer service and support is always quick, informed and flexible to our needs. Our particular business pushed the Penelope system slightly out of its intended scope, but the Athena team has been so flexible with us and very creative in solving our issues.

Cons

The software can be difficult to configure and test. The testing environments are extremely helpful for this, but as with all software, it can be impossible to understand the ramifications of system changes without testing each and every expected output. I have seen systems that do this a little better than Athena's Penelope.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Penelope has given us great flexibility with our student counselor population!

Reviewed 4 years ago

Our student counselors are learning great skills in using an electronic records system. Reports are much easier to run, supervisors can access the progress notes and other documents at any time, and can be alerted to situations like suicidal ideation or risk.

Pros

Students have access everywhere; outcome measures are great, and the ability to see visual score charts across time is especially effective for clients.

Cons

It is hard to delete some mistakes. Written instructions are still not as clear as I would like. I still find it complex when setting up new outcome measures.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

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Penelope Provides an Opportunity for Quality Training for our Students

Reviewed 3 years ago

1. Students are trained in an excellent Electronic Health Record system, and it prepares them well for their future career. 2. Overall I have been really pleased with Penelope, and glad we chose it.

Pros

1. Being able to purchase "generic" licenses--this works well for an educational/training context. 2. Being able to design our own forms and documents. 3. Great support.

Cons

1. It took enormous time to set up our system. 2. There are still some reporting issues that do not meet our needs.

Overall Rating
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

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Penelope review from a Not for Profit Organisation

Reviewed 2 months ago
Pros

Somewhat customisable. Easy to use. Pricing by User Licence works well for smaller not for profit organisation.

Cons

Different names used for the same action which is confusing for a new staff member. Eg. Cart or Unit. Lack of reporting options.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

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Penelope Review

Reviewed 2 months ago

Excellent-the Penelope staff are very friendly and helpful. We had lots of questions when we originally launched Penelope and the staff were very helpful and understanding of our needs.

Pros

I like how the software is simple to use and can be easily customized to fit the needs of our program.

Cons

I don't like how we can't generate graphs from our reports from Penelope.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Penelope User Review

Reviewed 4 years ago

We have used Penelope Case Management system since 2003. It is very versatile and many changes have been done to make it portable and easy to use. The ability to create documents for our own needs is a fantastic function of the system. We have created Initial Assessments, Progress/Closing Documents, activity notes and outcome tracking forms all for our specific needs. The ability to customize fields at all levels for the system to track information we need for grants and statistics is also very helpful. I would recommend this system to any one agency or organization that tracks a variety of data elements and wants to organize your data to meet your needs.

Pros

The versatility. It has a ton of user defined fields that can be setup in any combination that works for your agency. Billing is relatively simple and creating service units and activities is easy to do. Tech support has been very good over the years and the system is very rarely down. System outage issues just don't exist.

Cons

I would like to have a report writer system build into Penelope instead of using pivot tables to create customized reports.

Overall Rating
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Likelihood to recommend7/10

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Case Management with Penelope - Volunteer Users

Reviewed 8 months ago

It is positive - the reports are essential for being able to accuracy report our statistics regarding the activities utilized by our clients. The Case Management is very important to keep the records that are so important - other agencies come to us for our statisitics.

Pros

We have been able to create a procedures manual for our volunteers based on your instructions to do the very specific tasks they need to know for recording activities and events for which they are responsible. Their experience with case management features is limited; however, even our less computer familiar volunteers are able to perform well. Procedures, once learned, can easily be conveyed by experienced volunteers to our new volunteers.

Cons

There is a lot of capability of this software - as more in learned, it becomes more valuable; but the learning curve can be difficult for volunteers who come in to volunteer may once or twice for a 4 hours shift in a month. Re-learning/retraining is a constant - hence, our procedures manual.

Overall Rating
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support

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Penelope has been a great tool for our programs. I have enjoyed learning all she has to offer

Reviewed 4 years ago
Pros

I like the ease of reporting functionality. It is very easy for me to see how often our clients are being serviced & how they are progressing within our programs. I like being able to link records with family members so we can get a wholistic view of what is happening with more than one client in a family group. The technical support that has been given to us has been fantastic.

Cons

Penelope is more suited to a clinical environment. There are a number of features within Penelope that we do not use. Some screens are hard to navigate & has some functions that are not relevant to our program needs. In the beginning of the process members of the Penelope project team with MPREC had a teleconference with customer rep. This was a very long drawn out meeting & was one that all of us did not get any benefit out of. Please when introducing your product find a better person to try to sell the program. Her presentations were very monotone & quite boring. We found ourselves drifting away from the meeting.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Excellent product!

Reviewed 2 years ago

With Penelope, we are able to share necessary client information with other case managers with greater ease and efficiency. Scheduling for client appointments is centralized and contains all the data that is needed so that clients and service providers never miss an appointment. Using Penelope has saved our organization countless hours in searching for information and communicating with each other.

Pros

The best part about this software is the customer support that comes with it. We were able to customize it with the help of the Athena team to meet all of our case management needs.

Cons

It's hard to say what we like least about the software because it has been so helpful in meeting the needs for which we purchased it. It does take a little while to get used to using it and to learn all the facets but once you do, it's very easy to use.

Overall Rating
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend5/10

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Some pluses, some frustrations

Reviewed 2 years ago
Pros

Penelope has many features that other software does not, like pulling statistical reports and tracking anonymous client interactions. It gives flexibility in some areas to customize and tailor your software experience to your organization. Generally, it functions well for its purpose.

Cons

Penelope is difficult to learn and is not very intuitive to use. It's not visually appealing. The statistical reports don't always have the capability to capture the information you need. There are quite a few small, annoying processes that leave new users frustrated (like re-opening a case file and having to delete the "end date" before you can put in new information. Shouldn't re-opening it automatically invalidate the end date?)

Overall Rating
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Customizable Software with Excellent Support

Reviewed a year ago

Overall, Penelope has been a great asset to our organization. It has helped to gather our data into one secure location for all staff to access. We love the ability to configure Penelope to best fit our organization, and we look forward to the reporting updates in the near future.

Pros

The ability to unite multiple programs with varying services is by far the best feature. This software allows us to track our families and the services they utilize, regardless of location and which program they attend. The ease of access to log into Penelope and the extensive help support (trainings, guides available on the website, and direct technical support) are additional key features Athena excels in.

Cons

In the beginning, it was a bit challenging to integrate this software with our current business processes. The inability to export data using Excel is the most challenging. Although there is an option to export data, it requires further training and time especially with merging pertinent identifying and service information.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Great Case Management Software

Reviewed 2 years ago

Our overall experience has been great! Our cases are cleaner, more accessible and reporting is more efficient. Penelope is a great software for case management.

Pros

The software is user friendly for those utilizing it daily. It's functionality of the software and its accessibility for reporting is great. Penelope has made our cases cleaner and faster to access.

Cons

When adding a photo under profile, the photo can't be seen 100% after it's downloaded. So for our restricted users, it's hard to view a client’s photo because only the forehead if visible. It would be great if our case plans could auto populate from the initial one so we don't have to reenter the same information in the progress and closing plans.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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We love Penelope!

Reviewed 4 years ago

We are a care coordination division of a TPA, providing case management, utilization management, care transitions, and chronic condition management services to 80,000 members. Penelope has been so easy for us to use. The nurses love it, because they can communicate with other team, have our MD remotely look at notes, and we can easily pull case reports for underwriters. I used Penelope in my former job, and when we did this start up, it was the first thing I thought of to use. The support staff are friendly and understanding, and are great with training. I would highly recommend.

Pros

The reports are easy to to understand - especially to non-user stakeholders and our clients. The forms are easy to create and adjust, and the billing/ cart system is easy for my staff to use for their billable hours.

Cons

No cons were added to this review

Overall Rating
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Good product

Reviewed 2 years ago
Pros

Overall, I really enjoy most of the features of Penelope. Although there are many clicks to do one single task, the benefit of this, is that options are highly accurate and match actuals.

Cons

I wish there were ways to feed Penelope reports into other software or vice versa. This would help with bookkeeping purposes. As of now, it is manually required that I crosscheck Penelope data with other sources (Square, Cashapp). It would be more effective for reporting if Penelope could feed into or be linked with other outside services.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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It does a lot

Reviewed 2 years ago

Overall, there are a million types of software for mental health out there. And Penelope is a solid, experienced, reliable, excellent customer-service option that keeps getting better. I trust Penelope, I like that it keeps improving, and I look forward to seeing some of the problems fixed!

Pros

Penelope offers a wide range of options for customizable software. Our counseling center is a practice of about 50 professionals, and in the search for software, we realized that our software needs are a bit unique. Penelope was able to offer customizable options and reports (reports are an additional cost) that fit our needs.

Cons

It's expansive (which is good), but keep in mind that it takes time to train, set up, install, teach others, and learn how to best use. In addition, the reports are sometimes be transferred to excel and other times not. There is no mobile version yet (they are working on it), but mobile use is important for in-the-field or during-the-commute work. SO when the mobile version is up and running, it will be amazing.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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potentially great data base system

Reviewed 2 years ago

Penelope support is heavy in the initial stages but drops off drastically as you launch the system. Penelope staff for the most part though are committed to providing good customer service.

Pros

Having spent the past year learning how to navigate the software, our team is impressed with the detail it is able to capture. It has opened up numerous opportunities to report data on our various programs.

Cons

The amount of work it takes to "set-up" the system is not to be taken lightly. Another con is learning about reports and extracting your data...you're pretty much having to "play" with it which can become quite time consuming.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Flexible, configurable and reliable (so far)

Reviewed 4 years ago

I've been using Athena's Penelope Case Management Tool in our Community Acquired Brain Injury service for over 8 years. In that time it's proven itself a valuable and reliable source of organisational data as well as an essential tool for sharing person-centred information within a multi-d team. It's powerful out of the box, but can be configured to many different kinds of interaction. Being cloud based, it makes accessing the records you need easy, whether you're working onsite or off. Athena have managed to evolve the system impressively, and it has more than kept pace with changes in the way we work and use technology.

Pros

Powerful feature set and configurability. Cloud based.

Cons

Interface could do with some tweaks to improve navigability

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support

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Penelope has allowed our staff to work more cohesively by providing a user friendly database.

Reviewed 4 years ago
Pros

For the first time our organization has been able to capture better client and partner data that has allowed our multiple departments to work more cohesively. The ease of use of the Smart Documents and Forms has enhanced the way we gather demographic and program information for grants and funding purposes. While the overall functionality of the database has been very helpful to capturing client and...

Cons

It'd be helpful if more fields were more customizable and if reports could be more specific (more Breakdown options) in Penelope instead of having to utilize the Open Database Connectivity. Search function includes many fields to filter by, but not all the fields that we need- would like better customizable search options.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend7/10

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Penelope

Reviewed 3 years ago
Pros

It meets the majority of our needs for tracking clients, staff notes, documents and scheduling space in our building (both internal and external meetings).

Cons

I can't create mailing labels from Penelope, the calendar of meetings (outside groups can schedule days/times to use our meeting rooms) doesn't always sink between the appointment icon and the monthly calendar (side tab). Wish the calendar worked more like Outlook. Search should be for anything vs. having to click an option.

Overall Rating
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Personal Opinion

Reviewed a year ago

Between fair and good, depending on what is needed.

Pros

Able to provide most information needed.

Cons

Cannot get the acutal outcomes needed. I'm not sure what else you want me to say. There seems to be a lot of going back and forth to get information. Cannot get information needed for an individual client when asked for it. It's not as simple as it seems.

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