Maximizing efficiency, improving communication

How The Brain Injury Foundation of St. Louis Ditched Paper Forms & Is Delivering Services Efficiently With SETWorks

About The Brain Injury Foundation of St. Louis

Since 2016, the Brain Injury Foundation of St. Louis (BIFSL) has provided innovative, community-based solutions to meet the specific social and vocational needs of individuals with brain injuries.

Company Size: 10 staff

Participants: 50 individuals

Location: Missouri

“SETWorks is saving me and my staff hours every month, just by not having to reproduce the same information on multiple forms.”

Sarah Davis // Director of Client Services and Co-Founder // The Brain Injury Foundation of St. Louis


A unique service model with multiple funding sources

In 2016, Sarah Davis cashed out her public school teacher retirement to realize her dream of creating an agency that would meet the specific needs of individuals with brain injuries.


Along with her business partner Patricia Nance, Sarah launched the Brain Injury Foundation of St. Louis (BIFSTL). BIFSTL supports individuals in returning to their career after an injury in programs through the Missouri Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR).


BIFSTL also offers prevocational services, transitional home and community support, and adjustment counseling through the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). In addition, BIFSTL is a Wounded Warrior provider for post-9/11 veterans with neurological injuries.


BIFSTL’s broad range of programs allows them to meet the unique needs of each eligible individual, but it also means navigating the requirements of multiple funders — something Sarah says became more challenging as the business grew.

“We have 50 clients right now, but there are always people coming in and out,” explains Sarah. “The Word templates I had created for our forms and the Drive we saved everything to was absolutely ridiculous — not to mention the binders full of paper.”

BIFSL's services for individuals who have experienced a brain injury include employment preparedness, job development, and employment retention services such as: Identifying and refining realistic vocational goals, determining accommodations that will be needed for successful employment, and more.

It was obvious to Sarah that BIFSTL had reached a point where they needed to shift over to a software system designed for that purpose. In particular, Sarah and her staff needed to be able to quickly create forms and reports that would meet the expectations of their referral sources.


“You can imagine when we’re cutting and pasting information into Word forms how many times we got the wrong names or the wrong employer. It was so embarrassing! I knew having a system that would auto-populate the correct information would save my staff so much time.”


BIFSTL also needed a means of tracking information like client demographics, placement rates, success rates, and reasons for discharge, as well as storing all of that information securely.


Sarah looked at several different software providers, but most seemed geared toward supported employment.


“When we’re talking about returning accountants and lawyers to their original jobs after a brain injury, that’s very different from supported employment,” explains Sarah.


“We needed something that would accommodate the very unique documentation for return-to-work, along with our other services.”


A versatile electronic platform with support from disability service experts

Ultimately, it was SETWorks’ versatility that won Sarah over. “The reason we chose SETWorks is that it was the closest to what we needed out of everybody that we talked to,” Sarah says.


Still, Sarah was skeptical about whether SETWorks — or any system, for that matter — would be able to truly accommodate their unique needs.

It didn’t take long for then SETWorks Client Success Manager Jocelyn Leatherman, to change Sarah’s mind.


After consulting with Sarah to understand their requirements, Jocelyn showed Sarah how to build the forms she needed using SETWorks’ forms builder.

“I'm not a coder or a computer person, but I was able to make the forms exactly what we needed. That was really exciting,” recalls Sarah.

BIFSTL is based on the vision and philosophy of jobs first and community involvement with the long term goal of using the Clubhouse Model to support individuals with brain injury. Supports include budgeting, safety, accessing transportation, participating in community activities, cooking and nutrition, problem solving, and memory strategies.

She was also able to add prompts for her staff within the form fields to ensure documentation is completed correctly the first time around.

“My staff have sample forms that they could look at, but in SETWorks I’m able to create prompts so that staff know exactly what goes in each box, as well as reminders on any information that must be included.”

From there, Jocelyn showed Sarah how SETWorks could auto-populate forms with information from activity records and various other places within the system to make her team even more efficient.

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

“The activity records are great and the timestamp gives it so much legitimacy,” says Sarah. “And then, that gets pulled into their monthly progress report or into the retention report that we use for milestone billing.”


“SETWorks allows us to sign in all the appropriate places, and then it creates a lovely form or report that we can use for billing,” she adds.


Sarah was especially pleased with how easily her staff transitioned to SETWorks.


“Once I showed them how to do stuff, they got in there and boom, boom, boom! They didn’t have difficulty at all, so that was wonderful.”


BIFSTL saves hours of effort every month

Today, BIFSTL is completely paperless thanks to SETWorks.

“As of October 1, 2022, new clients do not have a paper binder,” says Sarah. “SETWorks has enabled us to organize our documentation so much better.”


That has been a huge time-saver for Sarah and her team.

“I save so much time by using SETWorks,” Sarah says. “Just the time saved printing documents and putting them in binders is huge. Our admin person can simply drag and drop files into the right folder. If something is in the wrong place, it’s really easy to see that and fix it."

Moving forward, Sarah is always looking for more opportunities for efficiency and increased productivity with SETWorks. The next big step is to get the DHSS forms into the system, which Sarah anticipates will save her staff even more time.


“The PDF form we were given from DHSS locks at bizarre times, and we don’t have a way to unlock it,” explains Sarah. “Not to mention, you can’t cut and paste anything from it — which means we have to retype everything for each client, every single month! Once I get the form going in SETWorks, it’s going to save my staff hours of time and frustration.”


Whatever new requirements come her way in the future, Sarah appreciates knowing she can quickly and independently create the forms she needs in SETWorks. And if anything is ever confusing, she can watch a video in SETWorks’ knowledge base or book meeting time with the client success team.

The Brain Injury Foundation of St Louis team after being awarded the 2022 Employer of The Year from the Eastern Chapter of the Missouri Rehabilitation Association.

In spite of her initial concern around accommodating BIFSL’s unique services, Sarah is thrilled to have found a system that can accommodate their needs, and she recommends it to other providers who don’t fit the traditional mold that most systems are designed for. 


“If you’re a supported employment provider, SETWorks has a lot of great forms that are already created,” Sarah says. “But if you’re a provider who’s doing a unique service that doesn’t fit into this, don’t be afraid. SETWorks is very malleable to meet your exact needs, so give it a chance.”

Woman using a mobile phone
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