Favorite Feature Friday – Minimize Duplicate Cases in CommCare

CommCare is a powerful and robust tool that allows our users to create everything from simple surveys to sophisticated applications with complex workflows. This flexibility comes from a multitude of great features, but sometimes it can be hard to know all of them exist. For this reason, we asked our field team to share CommCare features they find essential, but that many users may not know about (haven’t yet tried CommCare? Create an account for free here and follow along).

Minimizing Duplicate Cases is the first feature in this series, and we will publish a new video every Friday with one of our Field Team’s Favorite Feature!

This Friday, learn how to minimize duplicate cases in CommCare with Dimagi’s Claire Cravero!


Video: Minimize Duplicate Cases (Register from Case List)

Creator: Claire Cravero, Dimagi Senior Field Manager

Topic: Learn how to configure CommCare to allow registration of new cases directly from the case list. This feature helps you avoid the registration of duplicate cases by ensuring your mobile worker has searched the case list for an existing case before registering a new one.

Need More Information?  You can read more about minimizing duplicates here.

Read the transcript below and stay tuned next Friday for another one of our Dimagi Field Team’s favorite features!



The Problem

One of the critical use cases in CommCare is creating a case that you can track over time and update. Typically, to do this you create a case within a Registration Form and then you update it with a separate form. However, we’ve noticed this particular workflow often creates duplicates. This is a pretty critical weakness so I’d like to show you where we often find this weakness, and how to avoid it.

The Solution

  1. First, in my app I need to register a case. I’m going to register Mary, she’s from Arlington, and I’m adding her contact date and that she is not pregnant. Now, when I navigate to update Mary’s case, I’ll notice that I actually have two Mary Arlington’s because there was no way for me to check if I’d already registered this case. There’s a critical feature that we’ve developed to help make this a smoother workflow and reduce the duplicates.
  2. When I’m in the Form Settings Page, at the very bottom in the Advanced Section there is a place where you can set up your form to register a new case directly in the Case List. This allows you to search for the case before creating a new one in the Registration Form.
  3. Now, we need to create a button to put in our Case List to allows you to register a new case. I named the button, “Register New Mother.” We’ll leave the default action after the registration is done to “go back to case lists.”
  4. You can also upload an icon to make it clear to the user where they are navigating to when they register a new case from the Case List.
  5. Great! Now, when registering a new case, you can navigate directly to the Mother’s Module instead of the Registration Form. This means we can check our Case List first, and if we don’t see the case we are looking for, we can click the “Register a New Mother” button we created at the bottom. This will take us directly to the Registration Form. This allows us to make sure that we are not creating duplicate cases and like in the case of Mary Arlington.         




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