NM Regional Conference and Policy

As a certified trainer I have the privilege of leading sessions at our regional conference. This role makes me feel like a true Therap geek, as I get super excited to talk about things in the system and help people brainstorm to find the best way for the system to work for them. My husband was teasing me the night before the conference as he saw me pack my certified trainer bag and I did feel a bit silly that I was so excited. But then I was able to lead some good discussions and share more of Therap with many people today.

One of my sessions (which I get to teach again tomorrow) was on policy development as it relates to Therap. I wanted to do this session here in NM after I attended a similar session at the national conference this past Feb. It is truly helpful to see how many agencies are approaching policy development and what topics others believe are necessary to address in their policies. Here is a list, albeit incomplete, of some we discussed today: electronic signatures and sign up agreements, Internet usage, staff usage of Therap off hours, ensuring agency policy agrees with state policy, QA/QI and incident management/review, sharing of documents and data with team members outside of your agency…

Often we discover that we need a policy or procedure after the fact. Many policies end up being developed as a response to a problem or issue discovered and then solved. We would love to learn from your history. If you’ve developed new policies at your agency in connection to Therap in some way or if you have policy thoughts/comments, please share. Thanks!

Therap, as a Tool Toward Quality Assurance!

About two weeks ago, I had the privilege of representing our company on a committee meeting to discuss “Quality Assurance” among all service providers of both residential and day program service agencies. The meeting was conducted by the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD). As the topic clearly suggests, the main goal of this committee was to ensure that, despite budget cuts at state level, with the inevitable consequences of reduced funding for the division, and consequently the deep cuts to rates paid to service providers, quality service can still be maintained.

As the discussions progressed, it became apparent to me that Therap can be a tool to help meet that objective. Here is the reason why: after using Therap for all these many years, I have come to know that for the most part, staff document what they have really done. In most cases they under-document. For those who may falsify what they actually did, it does not take that long before they are discovered. Because, when one makes a false claim, other staff will soon see that what was done is not what was reported.

A good example is where someone writes a t-log stating they swept, mopped and took out trash from a resident’s apartment. If that was not so, the incoming staff are going to see that it is not true and they are going to write about it. Since everyone reads what the t-log says, it becomes apparent to the staff who falsified information that their inaction was discovered and they can not report similar falsehoods without actually having done the job.

Therefore, the Therap system becomes not only a tool to ensure staff do what they are supposed to do and at the same time an evaluation tool for supervisors to tell, in part, who is doing what they are supposed to do, thus assuring quality service to the consumer. In retrospect, using Therap helps foster honesty, accountability and quality assurance.

By |2016-11-03T10:15:42+00:00May 9th, 2012|Categories: Francis Sumba's Posts|Tags: , , |Comments Off on Therap, as a Tool Toward Quality Assurance!

Rob’s Overlap Checker

My Alaskan Friends asked to know how I check for overlaps. This method depends on ISP Data export to Excel and then nested Excel IF formulas.  I’m a big fan of Excel Macros to eliminate repetitious key strokes and to prevent incorrect typing, do it right once and then let the Macro repeat it.  This explanation assumes you understand how Excel IF functions work. Get in touch if you want more details.

Step 1. Search ISP Data for all possible programs that could overlap. Ctrl and click will let you select all the programs you want to check for overlaps. I do not check all the programs. For example, as I understand it a Care Coordination meeting could overlap with Day Hab but would not be a problem, therefore I do not select Care Coordination. For me I select Day Hab, Hourly Respite, Supported Employ, In Home Supp, Supported Living, and Daily Respite. I may have missed one there but you get the idea. Export the search to Excel.

Step 2. Create columns for the Excel function TIMEVALUE for both the Begin Time and End Time. You need the timevalue function because the times are exported as text and without timevalue 1:00 pm sorts as an earlier time than 8:00 am.

Step 3. Sort the data by name, date, timevalue(begin time), and timevalue(end time). I’m not sure you need the timevalue(end time) but I do it anyway.

Step 4. Create column for overlap. In this column you insert a nested IF function. You are going to compare the current row with the data in
the row above it. The nested IF function is:

If the Individual Name is the same as the row above

  • TRUE, next IF Function
  • FALSE, Not an overlap

If the Date is the same as the row above

  • TRUE, next IF Function
  • FALSE, Not an overlap

If the current row timevalue(Begin Time) < timevalue(End Time) of the row above

  • FALSE, Not an overlap

The actual function looks something like this:  =IF(A2=A3,IF(B2=B3,IF(C3<D2,”OVERLAP”,””),””),””) Where column A is the Individual’s name, column B is the Date, column C is the timevalue(Begin Time), and column D is the timevalue(End Time). If there is an Overlap the cell will read OVERLAP, if there is no overlap the cell will be blank.

Hope this helps.

By |2012-03-16T20:58:37+00:00March 16th, 2012|Categories: Rob Sterling's Posts|Tags: , , , |1 Comment

Tracking Timeliness of ISP Data Inputs

The first of March, another beautiful day in Eagle River.  Forecast high temperature 26 degrees, forecast low temperature 20 degrees… Current temperature zero degrees…  Our Alaskan weathermen never get it right.

FOCUS joined the Therap family to eliminate paper notes.  Our Direct Support Providers had a habit of hanging on to the paper notes and turning them in bunches.  As the stories go, they often had coffee stains, spilt cereal, creamed carrots, and other biological hazards spread across them.  It wasn’t unusual for staff handling the paper notes to be using universal precautions; you know, gloves, surgical mask, and HAZMAT bins.  With Therap we no longer have to keep our shot records up to date just to read the notes our Providers write. 

However, since our Providers need to access a computer to write their notes, they often are unable to complete the notes immediately.  While with paper notes our Providers had a habit of hanging on to them and turning them in bunches, with Therap some of our Providers have a habit of writing their notes in bunches.  Unfortunately, some are submitting the ISP Data for the services they provided very time late, three to four weeks in one extreme case.  Of course this adds to the difficulty in billing and payroll.  My concern is, since I can’t remember what I had for breakfast, how can the Providers write accurate notes for services they provided so long ago?

When I do a performance review with any of our Providers, I always check the timeliness of their ISP Data submission to ensure it is within our standard.  Took me a while to figure out how to do it in quickly and accurately.

In an ISP Data Search you can check an individual ISP Data Collection entry.  In the blue field at the top is a date / time stamp for when the data was submitted.  That can be compared against the date the services were provided to determine how time late the entry was made.  However, that is data for a single note and does not indicate a trend or average over a broader time frame.  To get that trend or average the data can be exported to Excel.  Unfortunately, that date / time stamp is not included during an export to Excel.

In an Activity Tracking Search you can search by Provider for a given time frame (no more than one month) to see when they submitted ISP Data.  Each line of data cannot be accessed in this search; but the data can be exported to Excel.  However, it will not give the date the services were provided; just the date the entry was made.

Now we have two separate Excel spreadsheets; one with the date services were provided and the other with the date the data was submitted.  How do we combine them to get at the length of time between the time the services were provided and when the Therap ISP Data was submitted?

The secret is that both spreadsheets contain the Form ID number.  With the Form ID number to connect the date the service was provided and the date the ISP Data was submitted it is a relatively simple process to use the “Lookup” function (I used “vlookup”) to put all the needed data on one spreadsheet.  With the data on one spreadsheet, the data can then be easily manipulated to determine how late the data was submitted and any average or trends you may be interested in.

This of course is just an overview of how I do it.  If you need help with the details, just let me know.

By |2012-03-01T20:55:56+00:00March 1st, 2012|Categories: Rob Sterling's Posts|Tags: , , , , , |Comments Off on Tracking Timeliness of ISP Data Inputs

Welcome, Lorelei!

Picture of Lorelei Lascko, the Quality Data Management Director for Mosaic.

Another major smarty pants has joined the Certified Trainer club: Lorelei Lascko, the Quality Data Management Director for Mosaic. For those of you who don’t know, Mosaic is one of those gigantic multi-state providers…so Lorelei’s job is a big dealie.  And using Therap is making it much easier for her to ensure that Mosaic’s documentation is up to snuff. On top of that, she is their super-super Super Admin…

Therap is up and running for Mosaic in Delaware and Nebraska (mostly) and Lorelei is keeping her eye on SEVEN pilots in CO, NE, IN, TX, KS, IA,  and IL to bring Mosaic fully live by July 2012. I’d tell you some fun facts about her like what she does in her free time but looks like she doesn’t have any… ;)

I’m pretty sure Lorelei knows everything. I couldn’t even trick her with the new 9.1 stuff…sigh. They get smarter and smarter.

Watch for her awesome blogs on top of the other awesome blogs over here.


By |2016-11-03T10:15:52+00:00August 1st, 2011|Categories: Allison's Posts|Tags: , , |Comments Off on Welcome, Lorelei!

Out with the old, in with the Therap!

Original Picture is Unavailable

Making room.

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!

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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). 
  4. Security: Paper documents could have been accessible to all BUT with Therap access is privileged and assigned.  Only authorized users have access. 
  5. 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.

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


Now that I have your attention with the title of the post!!!!!

One of the very helpful features of Therap is the Event Summary.  At LifeQuest we are trying different approach to facilitate using this feature more and hopefully having an even more positive impact on supports for people.

Not everyone is like me and enjoys learning about how to use excel to manipulate your information to track for trends and such.  While that is hard for me to understand – it is true!  So we have now started a group that met for the first time today – that will be the “go to” people for obtaining information through the event summary and using fun things like pivot tables and charts to get information to the teams who need it.

Our first and most important task was coming up with a name for the group.  Now the title of the post is accounted for!  Yes, we are the Stats Cats! 

Although we may have some disagreement on what “level” of expertise some members have in excel – it is a fun group!  I still say I’m a beginner – no matter what Mark Limberg says!!!

This is going to be interesting to see how this concept develops over time.  I’ll have to keep you posted on how it is going!

By |2016-11-03T10:16:02+00:00June 9th, 2010|Categories: Bonnie Scott's Posts|Tags: |Comments Off on STATS CATS


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


A great benefit of using Therap is the ability to enhance or incorporate an incident management system within your organization.

Incident Management Systems (IMS) are a very important component in our effort to provide quality supports for people with developmental disabilities.  We all deal with making decisions about how to work more effectively and effeciently due to limited budgets and resources.  A good IMS can assist in those efforts and with those decisions.

Therap allows for:

Immediate response to incidents through the use of GERs:

This is enhanced by the capability of incorporating notifications by cell phone, email, and secure communication to supervisor, service coordinators, administrative staff, etc as needed.

Routine/scheduled monitoring of incidents through the event summary feature:

This enables an organization to monitor for trends and complete analysis of those trends.  This analysis can help with strategic planning for an organization.

As helpful as the current Therap capabilities are – after attending the brainstorming session with Warren in Kansas – I’m even more excited about the T-sync Approach.

It appears this could give the capability for a quick review of what activites are occurring during a selected time frame.  You could compare the incidents during that same timeframe to analyze how environmental factors and staffing patterns may be contributing to those incidents.

By learning more about why things are happening we can also do more for prevention.  I love being “PROACTIVE” rather than “REACTIVE”.

Renee – this is another reason I LOVE THERAP!!!!!!

By |2008-11-22T01:22:49+00:00November 22nd, 2008|Categories: Bonnie Scott's Posts|Tags: |Comments Off on INCIDENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
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