Learn More at Regional Conferences!

Therap Iowa conference

As Jeff Case pointed out in his blog the first Iowa Regional Conference was a success. The Progress Industries team enjoyed meeting the Therap staff and interacting with the new Iowa Therap users. In fact, apart from the great educational sessions, interacting with others in the field is a great benefit of these conferences. Thanks to all the Therap support staff for their help putting on the conference. (Jordan, where were you for our team photo?!!)

Our staff were very impressed with the Individual Home Page and are confident this will save time in data entry. We’re also trying out the Time Tracking module to centralize our records and replace more paper records.

We’re heeding Therap’s message to start transferring away from the First Page and to the Dashboard. It is a bit intimidating for some but really the Dashboard is a very cool way to organize and access information.

The regional conference was such a success we are making plans for a low/no cost quarterly internal Therap Conference here at Progress Industries. Maybe some other providers near Newton and Des Moines would like to join us. Contact me if you are interested! Check out more regional conferences in YOUR area by going to the Therap Home Page and click on Conferences. It is well worth your time!

By |2016-11-03T10:15:34+00:00September 28th, 2012|Categories: Bryan Thayer's Posts|Tags: , |Comments Off on Learn More at Regional Conferences!

Iowa Therap Conference: Get it on!

We are pretty excited that Therap is hosting a regional conference in Des Moines, Iowa Sep 19-20 and are finalizing our registration list. If you are in the area, I’d encourage you to sign up. Therap Conferences are great opportunities to learn about new features, grow your knowledge of modules you already use, and to interact with other users and Therap staff. For my money and time, this last item is of utmost importance. Interacting with other users is an invaluable way to gain fresh perspective on issues and solutions! Some of the best Therap conference sessions have been user panels and discussions with Therap programmers and staff. Thanks Therap for putting on such great conferences. Oh, and did I mention that the food is always great too?! Emoticon showing smiley face

If you’re new to the Des Moines area, here are some attractions to check out: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g37835-Activities-Des_Moines_Iowa.html  For those of you who are art minded, the Papajohn Scuplture Park downtown is a great collection of modern art sculptures.

By |2016-11-03T10:15:34+00:00August 9th, 2012|Categories: Bryan Thayer's Posts|Tags: , |Comments Off on Iowa Therap Conference: Get it on!

Going to MARs

Progress Industries staff and local Therap expert Josh Stafford recently returned from an African safari but was still eager to answer questions about his adventures with MARs…Medication Administration Records, that is:

BT: Josh, how long have been using Therap MARs?

JS: I believe around 3 years.

BT: How does the Therap MARs module save you time and/or help you complete your job more efficiently?

JS: It allows me to review the MAR from anywhere that I have an internet connection. This also allows the nursing staff that are entering new medication orders or making changes to existing orders the ability to make changes without having to go to each program location.  The Due Medications feature allows for a quick and simple review of medication administration of the day.

BT: There have been a number of improvements made to the MARs module in the past year. Which of these are your favorites and why?

JS: My two favorite MARs improvements have been the Due Medications and the Medication Scheduler. The Due Medication feature allows both the medication passer and any one that would be reviewing the MAR a quick and very simple way to see if all of the medications that are scheduled to be administered have been signed for. If you are the person administering those medications and you have a missing signature, you are able to follow the links to sign for the medication. The Medication Scheduler allows the person that is entering the medication history and updating the MARs a method of scheduling medications for only certain days/times during the month. This will then highlight the medication on the days that it is to be administered. This is just another visual queue for the person that is administering the medication.   

BT: What additional changes would you like to see made in Therap MARs?

JS: I would like to see the Due Medication feature have a date range greater the one day. If you are off for several days and want to complete a review for more than one day, you have to select each day one at a time.  

BT: What advice would you give to another provider thinking about starting to use Therap MARs?

JS: Start with small groups and spend testing the medication history form to make sure you understand in completely. All the information for the MAR will be pulled from this form and you want to make sure tis information comes a crossed clearly to those that are administering the medications. (BT: Progress Industries has employed Pilot Groups in rolling out every Therap module. It helps test the waters and work out any unanticipated problems and also allows for an excellent mentor to trainee ratio for great support.)  THANKS JOSH for your help with Therap training and implementation!

By |2016-11-03T10:15:35+00:00July 23rd, 2012|Categories: Bryan Thayer's Posts|Tags: , , |1 Comment

Save Time With Health Care Report

One of our managers commented on the helpfulness of Therap’s Health Care Report tool. She remarked that she had experienced problems with her staff  not correctly posting follow-ups to medical appointments. Typically they would enter remarks in the ‘comment’ section instead of the ‘results’ section.  The Health Care Report makes it easy to check this.

Under Health Tracking select Report and then Health Care Report. Select an individual from the drop down menu and enter a date, for example the past week or month.  You can select just appointments or add a variety of other Health Tracking report features.  Clicking on the report button quickly gives you an array of information in summary form. In the case of the appointment follow-up information, if the ‘results’ section is blank, it indicates that staff either did not enter results, or entered them in the comment section (vs results).

The Health Care Report feature is very fast, very convenient, very cool.

…in short, “typically Therap.”


By |2016-11-03T10:15:39+00:00July 5th, 2012|Categories: Bryan Thayer's Posts|Tags: , , |Comments Off on Save Time With Health Care Report

Therap: A Great Communication System

One of my earliest Therap revelations came when I realized that Therap is not just a form of electronic documentation…it is a way of communicating and doing business better.  Information is organized in smart modules that promote rapid access and analysis. Simply put, Therap helps us communicate more efficiently and more thoroughly so we can make better decisions.

For example, Progress Industries uses ISP Data for programmatic progress notes because this module features such powerful analysis and reporting tools.  We use T logs for communication of NONprogrammatic data that the team needs to know. 

[A quick reference note is also placed in T Logs to alert team members to special events. (E.G. High blood sugar reading at 2:00pm, see Vitals.)] We generally use S Comms for communicating to a particular staff, rather than the whole team.  One of the cool features of Therap is the flexibility it offers to various providers to cutomize the modules in a way that makes best sense to that agency.

Whatever design you choose at your agency, communication is enhanced when staff understand and follow that plan. For example when a staff at our agency sends programmatic information via S Comm, we find that sometimes team members are inadvertently omitted from the recipient list. Similarly, data entered into T Logs is not automatically captured in official ISP Data logs and requires time consuming data analysis of information inputed across various modules.  Of course, plenty of opportunities for exceptions arise, and it’s not usually a big deal. Often, simple reminders about how to use the tools suffices to get everyone on the same page. But we’ve found that agreeing on how we communicate as an agency and using the Therap modules consistently with our design is essential to achieving great results.

By |2016-11-03T10:15:45+00:00February 17th, 2012|Categories: Bryan Thayer's Posts|Tags: , , |Comments Off on Therap: A Great Communication System

Service Verification Form

Have you noticed the handy feature added to Therap’s list of helpful analysis reports? The Service Verification Form is found at the bottom of a created ISP Data Report (via the “Export to” link). At a glance you can see who worked with an individual, when and where on a particular goal. It is also helpful in detecting trends or mistakes in time recording and goal implementation strategies.

So simple. So helpful. So Therap!

By |2011-04-08T18:21:29+00:00April 8th, 2011|Categories: Bryan Thayer's Posts|Tags: |2 Comments

Deep Data Drilling

I was commenting on Richard’s great post about BP’s deep water drilling catastrophe when it occurred to me that in the human service field we all do deep data drilling of a sort (and in a much safer environment!). Like the oil reserves buried deep beneath the Gulf, Therap’s individual-centered database also contains a wealth of valuable information to anyone with the tools and skills to bring it to the surface.

ISP Data and Health Tracking Reports allow a reviewer to quickly gather all the data into a single pool and examine patterns and trends that could reveal more successful treatment strategies. We regularly save scores of hours analyzing data with Therap compared to scouring through piles of paper documents!

Therap’s ability to zoom in on a specific teaching task or response score and to convert reports into graphs is another great way to process crude data into refined information that helps us make better decisions for those we serve.

Another great example of such a resource mining tool is the General Event Summary. This tool allows the user to drill down through thousands of pieces of data to uncover useful information for revealing relational trends in events. The flexibility of this tool to extend beyond a specific individual to site or agency level patterns is spectacular. The “export to excel” feature allows the data to be further refined using Pivot tables.

We’re hoping that Therap’s continued trend toward reporting aggregate data will allow companies to better measure and forecast their course. For example, it would be great to be able to measure how many ISPs are making progress or being met (by site, by division or service area, by county etc). Or to be able to trend the average length of time it takes to transition from one level of care to another.

Just as computing power continues to increase since our first Dell 286 (with one whole megabyte of RAM!), we need to expand our abilities to use Therap’s data mining tools to gather, process and translate raw data into useful business information.

How are you using Therap to mine YOUR data?

By |2016-11-03T10:16:01+00:00July 2nd, 2010|Categories: Bryan Thayer's Posts|Tags: |Comments Off on Deep Data Drilling


Picture of Feedback Process

We all know that Therap sets a high standard for inviting Feedback. This feedback improves quality and enhances customer service. For example, have you ever noticed that no matter how many ‘dumb’ questions you ask, Therap always responds in a patient and helpful way (at least online Emoticon showing smiley face?

It’s our aim to provide great customer service to our stakeholders and also to improve the quality of our services and processes. So we’ve made it our goal to emulate Therap’s feedback standards in our own agency approach to training internal and external users at our agency.

One way we accomplish this is to reinforce anyone who asks questions and prizes if they can “stump the PA.” (That’s easier some days than others! Emoticon showing smiley face Another way we invite feedback is to survey all users. Our first survey was sent via S Comm. It asked a number of multiple choice and true/false questions asking things such as:

  • What is your position at PI?
  • How long have you used Therap?
  • What module adds the most value to your day?
  • How easy is it to enter and edit data?
  • How easy is it to find data in Therap?
  • Does Therap data entry take more or less time than paper documentation?
  • On which modules would you like more training?

It didn’t surprise us at all that Therap was well liked and easier to FIND information. What surprised us was how many staff reported that entering electronic data was actually simpler and took LESS time than writing on paper. Another unexpected nugget was the unsolicited feedback from direct care staff that Therap made them feel more trusted and empowered, because they have instant access to so much information.

A limitation of the S Comm survey is that it was terrible for analyzing data since everything is basically a narrative. We’re sending out a new survey using Survey Monkey. They offer a ‘basic’ tool you can use for free, and a more advanced tool you can use repeatedly for an annual fee. Survey Monkey allows for much better analysis and is a great time saver. We’re going to send the survey invitation via link in S Comm (one to staff and a slightly different one to guardians and state case managers).  These surveys offer valuable TREND information. We use this to improve our Therap processes and to communicate the GOOD NEWS to our Management Team and Board of Directors.   I’m interested in how you promote Feedback at your agency!

*Bryan Thayer*

Progress Industries

Newton, Iowa

By |2016-11-03T10:16:02+00:00March 18th, 2010|Categories: Bryan Thayer's Posts|Tags: , |3 Comments
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