In September 2009, we launched the first major revision of
The "WSM" - The Whole Self Monitoring System
We designed the first version of the WSM and made it available in February 2006 to be an informative website to allow our teams of IISS Technicians, Respite Care Workers and Family Consultants to record the services they provide and our Clinical Director and Supervisors to review the teams' documentation. We quickly learned that by using the system we could do so much more to make our agency operate more efficiently and to advance the care we give to our clients to a higher level. The new WSM supports both our administrative and direct care staffs to hold ourselves to an even greater degree of accountability.
The new WSM provides our staff with an opportunity to engage in a continuous and on-going review of how well we are implementing a client’s individualized Treatment Plan. We revised the new system to support our direct care staff to think carefully about how their actions may be impacting their client’s progress. It is our belief that if we expect people with autism to change their behavior, then it is also clear that we need to hold ourselves to an even higher standard. After all, whereas a person with autism may not be able to process information to easily make appropriate choices, we have the ability to use our “neurotypical” brain to make thoughtful decisions.
The WSM supports our direct care staff to think carefully about how they are relating to their clients and impacting their clients’ ability to learn how to learn.
- The Clinical Director generates highly individualized Treatment Plans for each client containing the goals the family would like to address. The WSM also allows Clinical Director to quickly edit a treatment plan as a client progresses or as a family decides to make adjustments to areas of focus and support.
- The individualized treatment plan goals automatically appear on the daily IISS session report which is completed by the IISS Technicians. The technicians enter data related to the level of prompting they needed to provide the client to complete a task to develop a skill outlined on the Treatment Plan.
- Each direct care team tracks the level of prompting throughout successive sessions to indicate when the client has mastered a task. Mastery means that the client can complete the task independently, without needing to be prompted.
- The IISS technicians also choose from a series of standardized fill-in-the blank questions to best describe the types of services that they provided during a session as a means to assure that our agency can create a series of standardized reports that identify a client’s progress and/or need for support.
- There are designated questions that IISS technicians must always answer, namely questions that refer to how they are supporting a client to communicate on a regular basis and how they are supporting a client to behave more appropriately in their home and community.
- Families and staff are given their own usernames and secure passwords. All entered session notes are archived and made available for the Clinical Director, and each client's team (the Family Consultants, Supervisors, IISS Technicians, Respite Care Workers) as well as the client's family to read.
- The goal is that The Whole Self Center supervisors will use the answers provided by IISS technicians in the IISS fill-in-the-blank summary questions to create a variety of informative reports, including Functional Behavior Assessments, to better monitor our intervention strategies and our clients’ progress.
Our Individualized Treatment Plan are linked to Specific Activities
- Our individualized treatment plans give explanations as to what we hope to support a child to learn so that everyone is clear about what we expect the client to achieve. The treatment plans provide the timeframe, teaching concepts, and evaluation methods to determine mastery of a task to develop a skill.
- The Family Consultants will be able to write the specific steps of the specific activities that the families and IISS technicians are to use to practice the task with the individuals and they will provide updates to the steps on the WSM by providing the following information: Current Teaching Method, Progress, New Instructions, Change this goal on the Treatment Plan to, New Materials Needed for this Goal.
- The goal is that every IISS technician will always be given specific instructions as to how to support a client to practice tasks to develop skills.
Employees Receive Payment and Incentives for Entering their Session Notes Online
- All employees will receive a stipend for entering their session notes. If an employee enters a session note within 12 hours of the end of a session, the employee receives double the amount of the stipend.
- Every session note any employee enters within 12 hours of the end on the session is coded to be part of a monthly drawing. Each month, a session note is randomly chosen from that group of qualifying notes, and the person who wrote the session receives an extra $25.00 incentive in their paycheck for that month. Everyone is notified who won the $25.00 incentive on the Communication from the Director web page.
Employees Are Given the Opportunity to Review their Paychecks before it is Processed
- Employees enter their time and individualized session notes online. We have the parent's verify the session notes online.
- We verify the sessions that employees enter online by having the parents review and verify the notes we’ve received. Parent's received email notification reminders every two weeks.
- Employees can view their session notes online to see that they were submitted and processed on time so they can take responsibility to call us ahead of time to resolve what could potentially be a discrepancy in their paycheck before its processed for direct deposit.
The WSM has a variety of Features that make it User-Friendly for the Entire Staff
- Employees can easily navigate the system using drop down menus, expandable buttons, and pop up windows. The Administrative Staff can easily export hours entered by employees on the Internet into our on-line PAYCHEX payroll account and the Maryland Medical Assistance Electronic Billing System.
- There is a Services Rendered Calendar that lists the services, the team member's name, the time of the session, and the number of hours on each day of the week. The Services Rendered Calendar is color-coded according to pay period so it is easy to see which session reimbursement appears on a specific check date.
- The Services Rendered Calendar tallies the Family Training, IISS, Respite hours provided in a given week so that team members can easily see how their time was allotted to their client.
- Employees are able to view the exact number of IISS, Respite, and Family Training hours the family has assigned The Whole Self Center to provide. In this way, employees and the WSC Administration can reduce the chances for providing unassigned (and therefore non-billable hours) to a client. Please keep in mind that at this time the totals at the top of the page are not tallying but you can see the weekly usage on the calendar area below. We are working to activate the top tallying function.
We continue to discover and implement ways to enhance our approach to serving people on the autism spectrum. We look forward to sharing information about other advancements we’ve made to this and other systems we’ve developed.