Avatar’s Got Clinicians Covered with Treatment Plan Information Umbrella

Every Sound client has a treatment plan; a set of written instructions that clinicians and clients create together to define treatment goals. The treatment plan includes the patient or client’s personal information, the diagnosis (or diagnoses, as is often the case with behavioral health) and a general outline of the treatment prescribed. These plans are the vehicle by which Sound provides effective, whole healthcare to people, tracks information and remains dedicated to goals.

For those who don’t know, the tool we use to write treatment plans and organize data is MyAvatar, an electronic health record (EHR) system developed by Netsmart, Inc. Clinicians enter service information into MyAvatar such as assessments, treatment plans, progress notes, and medications. MyAvatar also captures client health insurance information required to produce claims to Medicare and other insurers and supports managed care functions.

The big news, though, is that a multidisciplinary team at Sound, which consisted of Sound’s clinical, quality and business applications teams who agreed that the initial configuration wasn’t quite right worked together to create a new design that places the treatment plan on top of all the other information, like an umbrella. (See illustration.)

The new treatment plan is a primary example of Sound’s strategic initiatives focused on team member experience and client care outcomes.

This new configuration is a welcome change for clinicians, who have been happier with the easy, new way to see and work with client data. Before the change, documentation was disjointed and it was difficult for clinicians to link client progress back to their treatment plan. With the change in place, the treatment plan is the top layer and links to the progress notes in any episode without having to try to puzzle together what is going on with a client’s treatment. Previously, they couldn’t link to progress notes at all. Clinicians were trained on best practices for care planning in order to use the new treatment plan as a clinical tool to help drive treatment.

Susie Winston, chief quality & clinical excellence officer, shared her thoughts about the umbrella model of the treatment plan.

“The new treatment plan is the culmination of many months’ effort,“ she says. “The team has redesigned the way we organize data.  The plan is very intuitive. It keeps the treatment plan at the forefront and integrates the Reaching Recovery components.  Now, everything is organized around the treatment plan, whereas before, all data was inside episodes and progress notes weren’t linked to the treatment plan, the way they are now.  Having this non-episodic feature supports our move towards a true co-occurring treatment plan. “

Because the plan lives outside of the treatment episodes, it is easier to refer to the most recent information. Clinicians can easily link the treatment plan with progress notes in any episode to document progress towards treatment goals.  As a result, people in services have one integrated holistic treatment plan that covers all services the person is receiving.

The new treatment plan takes advantage of MyAvatar’s ability to adapt to growth and change.

“The beauty of MyAvatar is that we can change it as we go, fulfilling the requirements of the clinical team as needed. This EHR system is very flexible,” says Lisa Greer, applications manager at Sound.

This new, more efficient approach saves time and helps different service providers work collaboratively to the benefit of the clients.

“For far too long, clinicians have had to struggle through a series of episodes to piece together client progress notes and to view Reaching Recovery markers,” says Winston.  “The goal for a treatment plan is that it be seamless and easy to read. There’s ONE treatment plan per client and many different clinicians and providers need to be able to see it.  There could be several different programs that a client is partaking in and we just need to make sure everyone is aware of that client’s overall treatment plan.  This new organized way of doing things is really beneficial.  We are literally living our vision to provide effective and innovative whole health care for the people and the community we serve.”

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