TMS and Individual-Specific Training

Hello everyone!  I’ve been tinkering with TMS for a couple years now, but have never used it actively with an agency yet.  One of the things I’ve been trying to accomplish within TMS is tracking of Individual-Specific training (IST).  While I know this is incredibly important everywhere, in NM we also have some pretty strict guidelines on documenting IST.  At any given moment we need to be able to produce documentation showing who is trained to work with any particular individual, and which individuals any staff is fully trained to work with – so we need to be able to see both sides of this training “coin”.  And to make matters even more challenging, some parts of IST are required annually (i.e. ISP outcomes), some are only required if/when they are updated (i.e. healthcare plans), and others are a one-time thing (i.e. individual routines and preferences).  IST isn’t really a “class” so it is a bit more complicated to build this into TMS.

IST tracking is also really difficult to do on paper.  Most agencies keep multiple copies of rosters/training sheets/shadowing forms/etc…, in multiples places, to consult to be able to answer those questions and provide required documentation.  Some agencies have “graduated” to tracking this in complex excel spreadsheets….but again, it is difficult to track all of this information.  There are usually gaps to accurate info.

At the recent NM conference we had a lively discussion in a TMS session on this very issue.  The folks over at Tabosa and ENMRSH in the SE part of our state are both working to devise a way to get TMS to capture all of this training and produce the information in an accessible manner.  Here are the two working ideas that these agencies are trying out.

Option one: Basic

In this option – there is a class titled with an Individual-specific title (i.e. you don’t want to use names because TMS is not caseload based, so we discussed using the Therap ID number for the individual – an example of the class title is “IST: CON-BR-1234”).  Then external to Therap/TMS the managers track completion of all of the IST requirements for the staff they supervise (as they always have).  Once a staff has completed all of the IST requirements for a particular individual, it is entered as complete in TMS.  The classes can be assigned, but are not “scheduled” as there are multiple components to each class that are externally tracked.

This makes it easy to run a report to see who has completed the class (i.e. who is fully trained to work with that individual), and which classes a particular staff has completed (i.e. who the staff person is trained to work with).

Option two: Advanced

In this option – there are multiple classes for each part of a person’s IST (i.e. CON-BR-1234: ISP, CON-BR-1234: healthcare plans, CON-BR-1234: routines and preferences, CON-BR-1234: OT/PT plans, etc…).  Then in the larger architecture, there is a course for each Individual.  While this course designation doesn’t really do anything yet – if we were able to run reports for courses (and not just for classes), this would be a really helpful breakout!!

While setting this way up is very labor intensive and makes your course list very long – it eliminates any external tracking and allows us to see which pieces of IST may not yet be completed, be able to track the various components with their different time frames (i.e. annual, as needed, 1x, etc..).  And it still allows reports to show who is fully trained to work with a specific individual, and which individuals a staff person is trained to work with.

This option is what Tabosa is trying out.  Jessica Dunn at Tabosa invested an incredible amount of time to build all of the classes and enter back training data.  She built courses based on the individual’s ID, and included the following classes (BSC, CARMP, HCP/MERP, ISP, PT/OT, and SLP).  The certification report then shows everyone trained on each of these classes, providing them with a very detailed way to track IST completion.  Great job Jessica!!!


So as you can see there are pros/cons to either way.  I’m also interested if anyone else has built IST tracking in a different manner than the two described above.  My ultimate goal is to eliminate the need for external tracking, and to be able to pull meaningful/helpful information out of TMS.  On that note here are my TMS requests to Therap (pretty please with a cherry on top!!!):

1.  Make the TMS reports have the ability to export to excel.  This exists almost everywhere else, why is it just PDFs in TMS?

2.  Provide the ability to run certification reports based on course and/or class, not just class.


By |2016-11-03T10:15:12+00:00June 23rd, 2014|Categories: Brianne Conner's Posts|Tags: , |Comments Off on TMS and Individual-Specific Training

NM Regional Conference

Whew – NM Regional Conference…finished!

I love conferences. They are such a fun time to see old friends, make new ones, help people learn new things, and learn some new things myself. This years NM regional conference was no exception.

Thank you to Matthew Rice and Loralei Glenn – two fantastic certified trainers – that took time to come to NM and teach us all new things. I heard many positive comments about your sessions.

Thank you also to the amazing Therap crew that took on NM: Deb, Allison, Stacey, Brie, and Calvin. You all are amazing and I always learn something new from you.

I am happy to report that I now feel like I have a better understanding of TMS and how to make it work for NM Individual Specific Training requirements…at least I’m going to try. I will report back.

I had a great time teaching sessions as usual (even with the black hole of internet in one of the training rooms). I will leave you with a terrible Therap joke that was used in a session:

How many attempts does it take for a DSP to successfully log into Therap?….Less than it takes the managers!

By |2014-05-29T23:22:38+00:00May 29th, 2014|Categories: Brianne Conner's Posts|Tags: , , |Comments Off on NM Regional Conference

Documenting and Measuring Relationships

I’ve been meaning to create this blog post for months now! In July Bonnie presented a great webinar on Person-Centered Thinking Tools – during that webinar we had a discussion about the challenges of documenting relationships. To follow up from this conversation – Donnia Melton from Mosaic and I had a phone conference and a wonderful conversation about different ways we have both tried to accomplish this.

The gist is that as we work toward supporting Individuals to build new skills – much of the time those skills are related to relationship development. Whether it is making friends, socializing, integration in the community, learning how to moderate emotions, relationships with roommates and coworkers, and pursuing meaningful relationships (romantic and otherwise). It has a much greater impact on a person’ quality of life to improve and grow the meaningful relationships around them. Now the rub…how do we document this? How to we track this? What does success look like?

Quantifying and measuring relationship success and growth is challenging at best – and more often impossible. So instead we try to look at activities and skills that are related to this endeavor.

For example: “Brianne will join a church” , “Donnie will create birthday cards and deliver them to her friends at the coffee shop”, “Allison will plan and host a dinner party” – etc… While these are great efforts in the right direction – they are frequently far from the mark. Brianne could join a church and never really make a friend there. Donnie could deliver cards but not have the opportunity to spend meaningful time with her friends. And Allison could host her dinner party yet never get another opportunity to socialize with the people she invited that time. Our documentation efforts frequently drive the actions of our frontline and they are trying to “do their job” and “get it right.”

While I don’t have an answer to this problem, I love to keep thinking on it and working on it. Any move in the right direction can only reap rewards in people’s lives. So I challenge each you to look at and think about how we document relationships – what will be the best way(s) to reach meaningful outcomes for people in the area of relationships.

Check out Donnia’s upcoming webinar for more on this topic (and others).
Person-Focused Planning and How Therap Can Help 12-11-2013 —
Donnia Melton-Togbanyahn, a Therap Regional Coordinator from MOSAIC, will discuss the tools in Therap that assist with ISP planning and ensuring it remains individually-focused.

By |2016-11-03T10:15:19+00:00October 31st, 2013|Categories: Brianne Conner's Posts|Tags: |Comments Off on Documenting and Measuring Relationships

How do you…?

How do you track program or site specific information in Therap?

I would love to hear how many different people are managing this. As I work with more providers who are working to remove paper as much as possible and utilize Therap to its fullest, this question is now coming up frequently. I have heard about the process of creating “fake” individuals in the system to represent a program or site and creating an ISP program for those specific items. Then I hear from Therap folks (especially Justin) NOOOOO!, don’t create “fake” individuals.

Ok then, how do we do this? I’m talking about things like house duties, vehicle checks, fire drills, house money crossover, etc…

I’ve found a number of helpful templates in the global template library for some of these things, but that would mean they are still individually based documentation (which is fine, it just makes more/duplicative documentation for the direct support). So I’m looking for a way to capture this type of information in an efficient and functional manner.

Ideas? Suggestions?

By |2013-07-02T04:33:34+00:00July 2nd, 2013|Categories: Brianne Conner's Posts|Tags: |1 Comment

Moving Right Along

It is scorchingly hot here in New Mexico. I’m working with a few agencies as they implement more and more of Therap both administratively and with direct support at their service delivery sites. We are moving right along.

In unrelated news – my most recent summer adventure was a lovely family reunion in northern Virginia. It was green, cool, and only mildly humid. I hope you all are having lovely summer adventures as well.

By |2013-06-26T22:03:32+00:00June 26th, 2013|Categories: Brianne Conner's Posts|Tags: |Comments Off on Moving Right Along

Upcoming Regional Conference

Our NM Regional Conference is quickly approaching – next week infact! I’m looking forward to learning new things and helping others learn about Therap. I’ll be leading two sessions that I’m pretty excited about.

1. Reports for Audits, Survey, and Accreditation
2. The NM ISP and Therap

I’m hoping to support NM agencies to maximize their state-mandated Therap access, so it is useful to them in many levels. The most time cosuming part is making sure there is enough dummy data in the demo accounts to actually show something worthwhile when pulling reports. So for the next week, that’s what I’m up to.

By |2013-05-20T17:48:11+00:00May 20th, 2013|Categories: Brianne Conner's Posts|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Upcoming Regional Conference

“I {insert word of choice} LOVE THERAP!”

In recent months I’ve been working closely with a small residential provider called Great Livin’. Their nurse has been using Therap for the e-CHAT, a couple of custom forms, IDFs, and administrative use of Health Tracker for about two years, but no one in the frontline had yet used the system. They pulled everyone together and took the plunge to begin using Therap for their direct support documentation. Phase 1: T-logs, SComm, some basic Health Tracker, GER, and Time Tracker went live on February 1st. They have really hit the ground running and haven’t looked back. The staff are doing great with the system and everyone is so much more informed. They calculated that using Therap saved them hundereds of dollars in copying in just the first month alone! Additionally, now that the managers have a much better idea of what everyone is doing every day, it has really changed the priorities of the agency and they are able to focus energy on changes that have a positive impact on individuals in support.

We met yesterday with their managers to plan Phase 2: ISP programs, ISP data, appointments, and?… While initially a bit hesitant about building ISP programs, the managers couldn’t stop talking about how ISP data would help guide the staff to working on what is important. The managers also learned how to use sign-up agreements and splash messages. Later that day (it was payroll and everyone was in and out picking up their checks) it was discovered that there was a error in the electronic payroll report and most of the checks were inaccurate! Within 10 minutes, there was a splash message and a flurry of SComms to ensure everyone knew what was going on and what would happen to correct it. The agency director walked by and with a big grin said “I {insert word of choice} LOVE THERAP!”

Therap to the rescue!

Therap to the rescue! (I think I need to find a female super hero image for Therap - with all that multi-tasking Therap must be a woman)

By |2016-11-03T10:15:31+00:00February 26th, 2013|Categories: Brianne Conner's Posts|Tags: , |2 Comments

Hello Again

Happy New Year Therapites!  Sorry for my absence within the trainer blog, I can say I’ve truly missed it.

This year has been full if exciting changes for me, both in my relationship with Therap and in my professional life.  After a couple of job changes I am happy to say I am a bit more settled and working with Therap at a few agencies again.  I am a management consultant for DD Waiver provider agencies in the Southwest.  One of my current contracts is with a great little supported living agency called Great Livin’.  We are working diligently to get Therap implemented in each of their houses with a “go live” date of Feb 1 of next year.  This is a big step for them and it has been fun supporting them in this process so far.

Additionally, I’m really excited about the upcoming National Therap Conference!  I hope to see many of you there.  I’ll be doing a session on statewide implementation in New Mexico.  May the coming year bring you many blessings!

Happy New Year


By |2016-11-03T10:15:33+00:00December 31st, 2012|Categories: Brianne Conner's Posts|Tags: |Comments Off on Hello Again

Feeling Behind

One of the things I truly value about Therap is the community of support it can provide. Therefore, my monthly blog post this time around is a short vent about Therap use in NM.

In NM we are mandated users on the following things: GER, eCHAT, two other custom form medical screening tools, and most components of health tracker. While I love using GER, and the medical assessments are working fine…HT is another story. We are so behind all the time with HT. It is difficult to implement with the direct support because they just aren’t in the system enough to get comfortable with everything. We are mostly using Therap to duplicate and store paper with the HT functions; that is time consuming.

I wish NM would purchase the use of T-logs for the providers. Then we would have out staff in there at least daily. The continued use would reinforce the use of HT and make it easier to navigate. Maybe I just haven’t discovered the right work flow to keep all the health information current.

Anyone else out there using HT from a more centralized approach, rather than direct support entry? How does this work for? Any suggestions?

By |2016-11-03T10:15:39+00:00June 22nd, 2012|Categories: Brianne Conner's Posts|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Feeling Behind
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