Emergency Contacts in MLS

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
jasonpanderson
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Emergency Contacts in MLS

Postby jasonpanderson » Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:56 pm

Can you create a custom field in MLS, such as one for listing emergency contacts for members or households?

Our unit has many elderly members, and unexpected "medical events" happen on a daily basis. Our bishopric is too often in need of emergency contact information in their ministerial efforts, and scrambling to find it. We maintain emergency contact lists separate from MLS, but because of high turnover, this effort is tedious, and the lists are too often incomplete.

It would be nice if emergency contact info traveled with a member's record, and each ward did not have to repeat the effort of acquiring this information. (If MLS already does this, I am embarrassed--if not maybe I should post this in the suggest a "Big Idea" section)

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sat Aug 29, 2009 4:49 am

janderson wrote:Can you create a custom field in MLS, such as one for listing emergency contacts for members or households?


Certainly. See the wiki article Custom fields (MLS), which explains how to attach a custom field to an individual record (there is no capability like this at the household level).

janderson wrote:It would be nice if emergency contact info traveled with a member's record, and each ward did not have to repeat the effort of acquiring this information. (If MLS already does this, I am embarrassed--if not maybe I should post this in the suggest a "Big Idea" section)


However, note that the current implementation of Custom Fields is purely local. The field names and content are stored in the local MLS database, not in the Church's central membership database, and thus do not travel with the membership record as members move to a different unit.

So feel free to make this suggestion; one good place would be on the wiki page MLS: Feedback and Suggestions.

lmherdz
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Postby lmherdz » Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:33 pm

Can you explain how to do it? Step by Step
I don't know how.
I want to create a custom field
Emergency Contact (ICE)
Name & phone number

Thanks

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:49 pm

lmherdz wrote:Can you explain how to do it? Step by Step


Did you read the wiki article (Custom fields (MLS)) that was linked in the previous post. That pretty much explains every step. If you haven't tried that, give it a shot. If not, please explain where you had problems.
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rpyne
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Postby rpyne » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:12 am

Unfortunately, Custom Fields in MLS are next to worthless because the ONLY way to see them is in a custom report. At least under the old MIS, you could see them when viewing an individual's information.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:39 am

rpyne wrote:Unfortunately, Custom Fields in MLS are next to worthless because the ONLY way to see them is in a custom report.


That's one opinion. For many reasonable uses of custom fields, the goal is to include them on a report, not to see them on an individual record. I work with reports far more than I look at individual records, so I don't see this as much of a drawback.
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rpyne
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Postby rpyne » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:50 am

aebrown wrote:That's one opinion.


Yes, it is one opinion, based on having been a ward or stake clerk for 17 of the last 22 years.

For the use expressed in this thread, which would be more efficient, running a custom report every time you need to access the emergency contact information, or simply viewing the member information.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:14 am

rpyne wrote:Yes, it is one opinion, based on having been a ward or stake clerk for 17 of the last 22 years.


And I have a different opinion, based on having been a clerk for 20 of the last 25 years. I don't think length of service is particularly relevant.

rpyne wrote:For the use expressed in this thread, which would be more efficient, running a custom report every time you need to access the emergency contact information, or simply viewing the member information.


That depends entirely on how the person accessing the information operates. If the person seeking the information is constantly online, then it might indeed be easier to access a membership record. But a custom report printed out on a couple of pages and placed in a binder that the person always has with him anyway might very well be much quicker for someone else.

I would certainly not disagree with your premise that making custom fields more accessible would improve their usability. But I see no reason to scare people away from custom fields with claims that they are "next to worthless." They are not -- at least for many people who are actually using them right now.
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