Why use Genie?

  • Genie is an evidence-based intervention that is cost-effective and with proven positive impact on the health and well-being of users (Blakeman et al. 2014);
  • Using Genie helps users to better link up with people who they already know and develop new links to groups, people, and activities (Vassilev et al. 2019); 
  • Genie is easy to use, but requires some training (Kennedy et al. 2016);
  • Genie can help organisations show impact of their activities through measures of improvement in engagement with existing network members, and starting new activities, embedded in the Genie online tool;
  • Genie can be easily and seamlessly linked to existing locally data bases of organisations and activities;
  • Genie helps address key policy agendas and local priorities;
  • Genie is patient-centred, supports service integration, resource utilization, and prevention and early intervention;
  • Genie is acceptable to users, link workers, and commissioners due to bringing together robust evidence base of positive impact on health, well-being, and social engagement of users; practical utility for users, link workers (e.g. social prescribers), and commissioners of services; and its simplicity of training and use.

What do I need to think about before getting a license?

  • Who are the potential users (e.g. people who are lonely or isolated, live with long-term conditions) and facilitate Genie in my area (e.g. social prescribers, link workers, health trainers, local area coordinators)?
  • Who are the local partners that can be involved when starting to use Genie?
  • How can existing collaborations be maintained during the implementation of Genie and what are the local forums through which to do that?
  • Is there a good database of activities already available locally that can be linked to Genie?
  • Are there other community facing platforms that commissioners may want to connect to Genie?
  •  How can users be referred to Genie (see figure below for some candidate pathways)?

What are the stages of implementing Genie?

The implementation of Genie involves two stages: stage one: tailoring to the requirements of the commissioning organisation and the needs of local users, and stage two: training, and adoption in practice. 

Stage 1 involves decisions about: 

  • Who should be able to access Genie, and what level of access should different stakeholders have;
  • The key outcome measures and performance indicators of of using Genie (e.g. number of users, evidence of positive changes for users, cost savings) required locally;
  • How to set up and maintain the resource database linked to Genie;
  • Technical process of the hosting and maintenance of the software;
  • Local requirements about IT response time, data back-up, bugs fixing, and data security;

Stage 2 includes:

  • Engaging representatives of local organisations and service providers in discussions about their involvement in the implementation process;
  • Agreement about the locally needed number of training and train-the-trainer sessions, and additional follow up support;
  • Training Genie facilitators at sessions organised by the Genie team (up to 3 hours each);
  • Further adaptation of the Genie software and the process of its delivery to fit the requirements and needs of local organisations;
  • Where needed, developing additional tools and their integration into Genie, e.g. feedback forms, outcome measures;
  • Train-the-trainer sessions for facilitators once they have developed sufficient experience of using Genie;

How to make Genie sustainable?

  • Tailor Genie to fit local referral pathways (e.g. GP, community, or self-referrals) and processes of delivery (e.g. by social prescribers, link workers, health trainers, as part of existing services provided by social services or community organisations);
  • Be positive about working across organizational boundaries and geographical areas (e.g. develop a good understanding of different priorities of partners that maybe in tension with each other; build a process of negotiating a common agenda for the implementation of Genie across stakeholders);
  • Engage with local partners as early as possible (these would vary by locality, but for example, social prescribers, voluntary and community organisations, relevant social services);
  • Draw on and extend existing local collaborations and relations of trust and trustworthiness.