Maximizing efficiency, improving communication

How New Hope Leverages SETWorks To Streamline Service Delivery and Communication

About New Hope

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

SETWorks in Iowa

Location: Iowa

“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


Disparate documentation systems, scattered communication

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.

"Before SETWorks, we had two electronic documentation systems: one for our facility based program, and one for our home and community-based services. Our main goal was to get everyone in one system."

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.”


A centralized software platform to manage everything under one roof

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.

New Hope’s spacious campus offers residents a truly at-home feel with walking paths, garden areas and visits from area wildlife, as well as room for games and sports.

"Other systems we looked at only colored in the lines," says Lacie. "SETWorks allowed us to really tailor everything, even custom naming forms and reports. Instead of retraining our staff on all new vocabulary, we could set up SETWorks to align with our current internal systems.”

Lacie and her team decided to use New Hope’s ICF/ID program as a pilot project

with SETWorks.


“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.”

New Hope’s Connections program is geared toward individuals with intellectual disabilities, brain injury or chronic mental illness who might be looking for an environment where they can grow friendships, gain responsibilities and learn life skills.

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.”


Efficient paperless processes, expedited communication

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.

SETWorks keeps us updated in real-time, as soon as an incident report is created, versus having to send a piece of paper to the supervisor, then to the director, and so on."

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 empowers its clients by providing everything they need through one platform.

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.

"The messaging module has been a game changer for us," says Lacie. "Maybe somebody just went to the doctor and there's an update from the nurse that staff needs to know yet that day. Instead of reading your paper memos when you come on shift, now you check your messages in SETWorks and you're all caught up."

New Hope's Home Support and Services provides support to people of all ages living in their own homes or in their family home, placing a emphasis on skill building and community involvement.

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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