New Hope is a CARF-accredited organization located in Central Iowa. Since 1978, New Hope has been working to enrich the quality of life for individuals with disabilities through residential and vocational services in a variety of settings.
Participants: 210 individuals
“We no longer have our big paper binders. Now whatever you need is at your fingertips, as long as you have access to the Internet and SETWorks”
Lacie Tedrow // Director of Quality Assurance & Staff Training // New Hope
New Hope has been providing services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and brain injuries for more than 45 years. For Director of Quality Assurance & Staff Training Lacie Tedrow, New Hope’s dedication to excellence is what sets them apart.
“We’ve always found we do a lot of auditing comparative to other agencies,” explains Lacie. “Not all agencies can say that they do daily audits, we always have.”
Residential services make up a significant chunk of New Hope’s operations, but the agency also offers a variety of home- and community-based programs to cater to individual needs. Keeping forms and documentation organized for several different programs, with hardly any crossover between them, is no easy task.
Lacie knew in order to maintain New Hope’s high standards, they needed to get everyone on the same page.
Lacie and her team also needed to find a way to digitize tasks such as incident reporting, which was still being done on paper.
“We were half electronic, half paper, and we were running out of storage,” recalls Lacie. “We just wanted to go all electronic and get rid of our paper files.”
New Hope also wanted to streamline internal communication across managers, frontline staff and nurses.
“Communication in such a large organization is always difficult,” explains Lacie. “We have a lot of people spread out across different departments and locations. We were doing phone messages and paper memos in mailboxes, but if voicemail didn’t get checked or a note were to get misplaced, the communication would be lost. One of our biggest objectives was to be more efficient and communicate effectively.”
While browsing vendor booths at the Iowa Association of Community Providers (IACP) conference, Lacie was drawn to SETWorks’ scalable system that could meet current needs with room to grow. The fact that SETWorks could mold to their processes, and not the other way around, was also a big plus.
Lacie and her team decided to use New Hope’s ICF/ID program as a pilot project
“We had to move on from the electronic system that program was using because it was no longer going to be supported,” explains Quality Assurance Specialist Shawna Wiggins, who headed up the implementation effort. “ICF/ID was a smaller group of 49 clients, so we started transitioning to SETWorks there and it went really well.”
Mastering the new system took some time, but Shawna was grateful to have then SETWorks Onboarding Manager Preston Finkle in her corner.
“It was a learning curve, for sure. There were so many options and so many different ways that we could do X, Y, or Z. Preston worked with us to figure out the best solution so that we could get the reporting exactly how we needed it, and to make our workflows the most efficient for ourselves and for our staff.”
Naturally there were some hiccups along the way, but the SETWorks support team was able to get everything resolved in a way that met New Hope’s needs.
“Our biggest obstacle was signatures,” says Shawna. “We had pretty large records compared to other SETWorks users, because we were needing to do one record per home. Instead of just telling us to make our records smaller, SETWorks worked with us to get that to work efficiently.”
To help develop an internal training team capable of owning the system long term, New Hope got their leadership staff together and did a virtual training with Preston. Then, they were able to deliver that same training to small groups of employees and follow up with one-on-one support.
Both Shawna and Lacie were pleasantly surprised by how smooth the rollout went.
“SETWorks is a much bigger and more robust system than what our staff were used to,” says Lacie. “But people liked the software, and after about a month everyone had it down and it was great.”
It quickly became clear that SETWorks was much more efficient than New Hope’s old systems, especially when it came to things like incident reporting.
“We use SETWorks to capture service documentation and track census for billing. Then, we do all of our incident reporting, which for our residential program is quite robust,” says Shawna.
Today, New Hope is almost entirely paperless, even with their person-centered planning process.
“We no longer have our big paper binders. Now whatever you need is at your fingertips, as long as you have access to the Internet and SETWorks,” says Lacie.
This has made everything much more accessible for managers and frontline staff.
“As somebody who works with all the programs, I only have to log into one system and I can access all of our client information and pull reports for the entire agency or one home or program at a time,” says Shawna.
Adds Lacie, “We’ve also been able to integrate SETWorks with other systems, such as the MedSupport MAR and the HRST.”
SETWorks’ ability to have portal user access also made important paperwork more accessible for families and guardians.
“We used to print everything out, but now guardians can log in and see all of the forms, such as the informed consent form or their annual plan,” explains Shawna. “They’re able to sign the forms right in their portal, and they can use the messaging module to message the program coordinator if they have questions or concerns.”
SETWorks’ messaging module has also expedited communication inside the organization.
With SETWorks, Shawna and Lacie are confident that New Hope has a system that will grow with them. The hardest part is finding the time to leverage everything the system has to offer.
“SETWorks is coming out with updates all the time, so we’re still continuing to create new efficiencies,” says Shawna. “This year, we’re working on getting into new modules with finances and billing that we haven’t been using yet.”
For Lacie, it’s this flexibility that sets SETWorks apart from other systems on the market.
“The biggest selling point for me, to put it in one word, is options. You’re not boxed in. No matter what service you’re providing, there’s a way to do it in SETWorks.”
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