FIG1 APA's Information
Technology (IT) Department provides technology support for broad-based
business, information, and service objectives within APA. Its major project
now is implementation of a new core customer-relationship management system,
TMA Resources Inc. Integrated Membership Services Solution (TIMSS).
This new system will integrate the information systems of most APA's
departments and divisions, significantly improving the consistency and
reporting of data, as well as streamlining business processes.
With TIMSS, we will be able to roll out new and improved functionality to
the Members Corner area of our Web site. For example, members will be able to
manage and update much more of their member record directly. Members will also
have the capability to view and pay dues statements online, eliminating the
need for paper statements. Eventually, TIMSS will allow members to manage
their subscriptions and use a greatly enhanced online annual meeting
Moreover, district branch staff will have direct access to member
management, reporting, member-profile management, list management, and other
functions that are currently not available. The IT staff is collaborating with
district branch executives to define requirements and identify opportunities
for improved operations between them and APA.
TIMSS will be implemented in three phases over the next couple of years,
with the first phase due to be completed this summer. This first phase will
affect the Membership Department, Accounts Receivable, and the Answer
Phase two will extend functionality to Division of Advocacy, Department of
Public Affairs and Communications, and most of the Division of Education and
The final phase will integrate TIMSS with American Psychiatric Publishing
Inc., Annual Meetings Department, and American Psychiatric Foundation.
In addition to the IT department, the TIMSS implementation is supported by
the Finance, Membership, Governance, and Answer Center departments, as well as
by the Ad Hoc Work Group on Information Systems.
Work on the first phase is going well, with staff testing the initial data
conversion into TIMSS. This marks the end of an extensive effort organized by
the IT department with extraordinary help from Vanessa Dea in the Membership
Department. Vanessa spearheaded the analysis of the current membership
database, which consists of more than 600 tables and 1,400 data elements.
Sreeni Reddy, database administrator, performed another amazing feat: his
programming skills saved 40 workdays of tedious data entry. We will continue
testing this initial conversion and begin customizing.
On other fronts, we celebrated the successful transition to the first phase
of an improved registration system for the annual meeting this year. The
system permits attendees to handle the majority of registration activities in
advance, which should result in considerably shorter check-in lines at the
The IT department is working with the Annual Meetings Department and the
Division of Education and Career Development on other ways to improve your
experience at the annual meeting. One is the overhaul of the messaging system
to integrate it more fully with the registration database. Another is an
update of the application that generates the CME certificates so that members
can continue to get a printout on site or e-mail them home in digital form to
create printouts whenever needed.
Also new this year is the online collaboration portal being used to
facilitate research ideas and tracking for DSM-V. The IT department,
working with APA's research staff, deployed a sophisticated system for sharing
and tracking input for the future of DSM. This system uses
Microsoft's Share-Point services to allow contributors from all around the
world to work together in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Based on the
success in this area, the department is exploring other ways to use the
Finally, the IT department is working on a new member benefit: discounts on
computer purchases. In collaboration with Dell Computers, APA will be able to
extend Dell's Employee Purchase Program (now available to APA staff) to all
members. When the program is in place, we will provide details in the Members
Corner area of our Web site.
As always, we like to hear from you. Please feel free to contact us with
your ideas. ▪