Advanced Practices Directly Benefit Clients and Outcomes

In the past year, the Heartland Center has been working with recognized national consultants to meet the challenges of healthcare reform. We have adopted an “Accountable Care Organization” model to provide services that will produce the outcomes sought by our clients and funders.

These outcomes are essentially to (1) Help clients self manage their wellness and recovery, and (2) Greatly reduce the need for disruptive and high cost interventions and services.

Two of the strategies adopted toward these outcome goals are Collaborative Documentation and Centralized Scheduling.

With collaborative documentation, the client is actively involved in developing their individual goals and seeing where they are making progress, or for the need to make adjustments in their plans or actions. Clients have also reported these benefits:

  • Increased sense of “being heard;”
  • Greater satisfaction with their individual sessions as they are better able to see progress being made;
  • Improved ability in determining when old behaviors are barriers; and
  • Remaining more focused on their goals.

Clinicians benefit too. With collaborative documentation, clinicians don’t need to schedule additional time in their day for charting of notes relative to a client’s treatment plan, progress, etc. Clinicians also report:

  • Relief from the burden of what is usually seen as an unpleasant chore; that is, the need to do “paper work” after each client session ends;
  • Elimination of need to keep other clients waiting for their session while trying to complete charting from the last session; and
  • Gratification in being able to be a partner to clients in their recovery, rather than the feeling of being solely responsible.

Under centralized scheduling, an administrative assistant (engagement specialist) schedules all appointments so that counselors can focus on seeing clients instead of scheduling, making phone calls and other logistical tasks. Centralized scheduling benefits clients by providing them with:

  • An available contact person to coordinate their scheduling needs;
  • Appointment reminder calls

For the clinician or agency, benefits include:

  • Counselors have more time to provide clinical services;
  • Enables the agency the determine clinical capacity at any time; and
  • No show, non-participating clients are appropriately transferred or discharged.

Heartland Center is committed to continuously implementing advanced practices to benefit our clients and their overall outcomes and success in our programs. We look forward to sharing other innovative strategies in the future!