Software for Human Services Organizations
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Technology has come a long way in recent years when it comes to making the human service field more efficient, with software and applications it has made client care access as easy as getting to a computer.
Patients are able to access their information through applications or software offered by the professionals providing the care. The information about the client including their patient files, and the notes about their care is accessible through these programs. Before these programs were available to the public all patient files were hard copies also known as paper documents. With paper documents there is one location for the papers and that is generally within a file for that person and there is only one copy of the folder so if there is more than one person needing to access the information it can be a difficult task because the information is not easily accessed.
Patient information programs give the ease of access as well as more than one person is able to use it if there is more than one person handling the case. Web-based Case Management is one of these types of programs. With web-based case management all that is necessary is a web browser and an internet connection on a computer or mobile device. This is used to review case notes and often many types of software offer the ability to create data points for your own data so that you can create your own personalization for your work.
FAMCare CONNECT is a Human Services Software that offers web-based case management as described above. As with all software and as with everything in life, there are always positives and negatives. Some of the positives of web-based case management is that it takes away some of the face to face aspect of case management. Before computers, when there was still the use of only hard copies people had to come into the office or the case managers had to go to the client’s homes in order to check in with them. These days there are still the in home checks and the clients do come in for appointments but not nearly as often as they would have back then. Electronic client records are widely used throughout the United States however many small locations do not have the technological advances that larger cities do. Implementing this type of software in a smaller location would not be as difficult as it would be in a larger city, with a training class instructing the professionals using it there would be less issues than if they were left without a training.
It would also be beneficial to have simple laid out instructions printed and handed out to each person who attends the training so that they can have something to refer to when using the software for the first time. Some of the issues that may come up during implementation would be people forgetting their log-in information, that is why it is important to have administrator privilege for supervisors so that they can reset passwords and other information. Refusing to use the program is another issue, making it mandatory is important so that everyone is on the same page. Cutting out the paperwork at the same time makes for less work in the end. Lastly a large negative would be ethics, it is imperative that all case managers and other professionals using the software understand about ethics and falsely entering information into the system.
It is the same thing as falsifying information on paperwork, it is against the law and must never happen. Therap Services is an electronic documentation service that is offered to Developmental Disability Service Providers. According to the “Therap” website (2015), “Therap offers templates for the different forms used for planning, progress notes, goal tracking, medication administration records, nursing notes, staff training, incident reports, health assessments, and also has a mobile application for case notes and medication administration.” This program has the capability of creating forms as well as using the ones already uploaded to it. Therap requires training that spans over several days in order to cover all of the material, which depends on the DD service provider also. It depends on state requirements as well as what each individual clients needs are.
The plus side of using Therap is that they do have mobile apps for medications and progress notes, for clients who are not always at their locations and when something comes up that has the support staff outside of the group home for an extended period of time. When training for Therap I would set aside 3-4 days of training just for the program so that the staff are able to learn as much about the program and practice using it before starting on the floor. The good thing about Therap also is that there is a practice mode to use during training. Once a password is lost however it takes a supervisor to reset it, until then the staff cannot log in at all or use any of the functions.
There is also the fact that in order to log in you must have the provider code, which some people may not remember or even realize must be used. Staff also often times may forget to document something at which point they may want to go back and document later, this is an option but it must be documented that it is being entered late because the time stamp will still be present. Besides those things, Therap is an amazing program to use for documentation. It also tracks behavioral issues and has the ability to enter them onto a database.
The two different software’s discussed are much alike and also very different but, they are both web based. Human Services really benefit from the use of these types of programs and once trained on them correctly the people using them will be able to figure out all the bugs and they will function even better. Paper trails are still present, just as electronic trails more so than paper. There is still the need for some documents to remain on paper just in case, but as long as the entire face of the internet does not go out, the world of web based case management and documentation is safe.
Therap Services. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.therapservices.net FAMCare Case Management. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.famcare.net