Well the Therap Conference in Fishkill has ended but the memories are forever. My take home thoughts are as follows:
The discussion around electronic signatures started off my first session. Providers discussed and shared how electronic signatures can be used and how to develop policies around them. Loved connecting with Tahseen (system analyst from Therap) who is going to work with the DC folks to “therap-a-rize” the consents required for different services. I can imagine guardians and family members being able to log in and sign the consent!
INDIVIDUAL HOME was a highlight! Love, love, love the new module that will allow users to to view detailed information regarding an Individual practically all on one page. Love that there is an Album section for photos. Pictures speak 1000 words. This is a great space for the individuals we serve to celebrate their lives in photos.
Therap conference was so hot that it set off the fire alarms. Although is was only 7 degrees and most folks did not have a coat, we evacuated into the crisp mountain air until the fire department cleared the building.
The DC Therap Users group got a chance to meet together to discuss ways to improve Therap use. A new user group (date and time TBA) will focus on how to incorporate QA tools used in the District of Columbia into Therap modules for compliance monitoring. Somehow, I got elected to Chair this group??!!
Later that day, SJCS-DC added another Certified Trainer to the bunch… Antonio Brown, RN! Way to go!!!
I told Richard that the one of my favorite hightlights about coming to the conference was the ability to work directly with the programmers!
I look forward to all the enhancements to the Mobile Apps including GPS tracked data entry! Wow.
Looking forward to seeing how we can incorporate eCHAT into our agency to enchance our medical service delivery. I know the nurses will be excited.:)
Although I didn’t take the trip to the city with the group, I did end the conference with a new pair of shoes…my favorite hobby.;)
Overall, we had a great time, learned a tremendous amount, and met a lot of cool people.
Now that’s The-rap up.
I made it to the Fishkill Therap Conference! As soon as I got on the Thruway (87 North) found memories flooded my head. As a native New Yorker, I could not fathom the idea of leaving NYC for college when I graduated high school, so I chose to stay in the state and attend SUNY The College at New Paltz. I had some of the best years of my life!
During this time, I was able use my skills to assist individuals living with disabilities. There are some great agencies in this area. I absolutely loved working for United Cerebral Palsy in Ulster County, specifically Lasher House. I learned how to really be supportive. I built friendship and skills that remain with me to this very day.
Life today could not exist without my most valuable experience at Occupations, Inc. Being one of the largest providers of services in Orange County, NY for individuals living with disabilities, sky was the limit on my growth and development. Because of their support (much love to Yvette and Melissa), we were able to make dreams come true! Sure wish they were at the Therap Conference.
Even fonder, I met my husband at SUNY New Paltz and we married at Anthony’s Pier 9 overlooking the Hudson River. Both having a love for the field, I cannot forget the time we both worked at the Anderson School for Autism. They do a great job of creating wonderful educational and meaning activities for children and adults with Autism. Loved attending all the company functions at the Mental Health Association where he also worked.
This is my homage to the Hudson Valley…
Who said that spring was the only time for spring cleaning? After one year with Therap, we decided to start cleaning up all the paper. It took months to file and box paper documents but BOY did we make space! We were actually able to make an office out of a room that was previously used for files!
This is one of the major benefits of Therap…paper production is extremely limited. We have saved time, money on supplies, and trees!
5 reasons to get, buy, join, Love Therap!
- Place for everthing and everthing in its place (Storage): Since Therap is internet based, you can tell your Office Manager to stop ordering file cabinets. Printing and paper documentation is significantly reduced. Now you have the space to make that office gym!
- Who moved my documents out the book? (Organized): Therap does the work for you. Your documents are organized and convenient, making a better data trail. Instead of spending time asking “what happened to that ISP that was in the book.” All documents are nicely arranged and computer generated. No more trying to translate illegible and incomplete documents.
- Quality Time: More focus on care, less focus on books. Since documentation is readily available, reviewers can audit records at any time and spend more time with the individual being supported instead of books. Less time with paper=more time for people (who would of thunk it or who would of THERAP it).
- Security: Paper documents could have been accessible to all BUT with Therap access is privileged and assigned. Only authorized users have access.
- YOU BECOME SUPERMAN: Able to monitor all locations in a single bound (I mean a single click). Providers of multiple locations would normally have to travel site to site to read records. With Therap: Coordinators, Nurses, House Managers, Directors and the like can view ALL information for ALL locations at the same time from ONE location. This allows for better prioritizing based on needs essentially being more efficient.
Two days ago, I watched this story on the Today Show about the man with “the golden voice.” It immediately captivated me and I sat and watched in amazment. Here is a man that perfected his passion into a career only to lose it for more than twenty years to drugs, alcohol, and homelessness. He panhandled on the streets of Ohio using his “voice” to get him a dollar. Then one day, he was “discovered” by a man who worked in the media and is now the hottest thing on the market! [Amazing] What was so interesting to me was his incredible humility and hope. When asked about his talent/gift he responded that although he had been plagued with the effects of alcohol, drugs, homelessness and did not look the part of someone with this kind of talent… “somehow the voice remained residing within” him. [Wow].
As I continued to watch the follow up stories on this man Ted Williams, I begin to think about the individuals that we serve everyday. I begin to think about the “voices residing within” and how sometimes we can look past some voices, talents, and gifts they may possess due to the outward appearance or the diagnoses hanging over their heads. Even for people that may not have the ability to use spoken or signed word to speak, have a voice residing within them. I think about the many people that may have passed Mr. Ted Williams in his twenty years on the streets. How many people actually spoke to him everyday but never really saw the value of the voice?
This story makes me think about my twenty years in the field. I think about all the ISP meetings, special case conferences, goals, and plans. I would like to know that we listened to the voice residing within. That we were not just passersby, but we are like that media man that took the time to explore and expose a deeper story…the voice residing within. If we do this, there are more amazing stories to be told…
Today is my 14th Wedding anniversary. The day when the veil was pulled back and “two lives joined together to become one.” I thought what more of a perfect day to remove the veil once more and post my first blog as a Certified Therap Trainer. Implementation of Therap reminds me of marriage. The foundational steps are keys to having years of bliss: 1. Pre-Marital Counseling; 2. Becoming One; and 3. Communication.
I remember the months leading up to the day of matrimony. I remember marriage counseling or shall I say the “training” for a life of doing things differently. The minister told us that we had to look at our past lives as simply experiences and that we must create a new life together under new rules and agreements. But the blessing is that it will be easier because we are working in a partnership. I remember the doubt as I was “me” and did not want to change; I just wanted the addition of marriage without any change in me.
It all makes me think about experiences that we had embracing Therap in Washington DC. Knowing that Therap was going to be a change, we had to schedule “marriage” counseling. It was a good idea to start to prepare the staff for the implementation of Therap because it is often difficult for the “two to become one.” The fact is that staff has been living the “single” life for so long…meaning they have been working with paper since the beginning of time. They have adapted their work behavior and systems around the use of paper and paper although annoying at times is more comfortable. Multiple training sessions and showing the staff that everything (all data) they are accustomed to seeing in paper will be fully visual and usable for them in Therap. In a sense, their paper has been THERAP-A-IZED.
I chuckle now when I think about our first apartment together where we spent hours if not days trying to figure out “where do I put my stuff” because the new system of residing together did not look like our old system where we owned all the space and didn’t have to worry about systems. This process of “Becoming One” is most challenging as it requires actual work and paradigm shifts. It is the expectation meeting the reality. When we started to roll out Therap, everyone was ultra concerned about “where do I put my stuff?” All comments and concerns centered around “I need this form; what about this form, it is or is it supposed to look like this, or where do I put this?!!” Of course these are real needs and should be addressed. In the same way that my husband and I solved our dilemma by assigning drawer space and who gets what side of the closet; we created a “map” that served a minimum of two purposes: Where to put stuff and How to find stuff. We call this map at St. John’s Community Services-DC the “Master Filing Document.” Additionally, it tells all staff how to name or file attachments so that everyone will know how to recall things once stored.
What keeps a union going? What is it that really defines its success? I think the final stage in our implementation of Therap is one that is continuous and ongoing. This would be communication. Communication is continuous “checking in”. We have regular staff meetings where we encourage the staff to openly communicate or express any problems that they are having with the system or how to do something. In this way problems are addressed quickly and are not allowed to linger and become the reason why electronic documentation doesn’t work. I know so many couples that stated that they divorced or separated due to lack of communication.
I am looking forward to many more years of marital bliss. I am also looking forward to our industry evolving, becoming more synchronized, and sharing information more readily thus improving our communication to better serve people. I know that they say men are from Mars and women are from Venus, but I know that there is one place where we can be united as one….Therap.