The ViaQuest Foundation recently received a grant from the Union County Board of Developmental Disabilities (UCBDD) to help fund an innovative client advocacy program. The UCBDD believes that meaningful outcomes are experienced by people with disabilities when they have a voice about what happens in their life. The purpose of this grant is to create opportunities or experiences that will enable individuals to obtain and apply the skills needed to successfully advocate for themselves.
“We took a look at what ViaQuest was doing as a whole for client advocacy. We looked at our Quality of Life Survey, Consumer Complaint tracking program, and our newly created Client Advocate position. We knew we had some really innovative ideas that would benefit the board in developing best practices. Ultimately our team, realized that we could bundle our proposal with the new iPad roll-out for mobile administration!” said Patrick Soller, Executive Director.
As a large provider, ViaQuest has the unique advantage of using our resources to deliver results statewide. In addition, we are able to provide individual counties with benchmarking data and best practices. Partnership with the county boards and providers is becoming more and more critical as expectations change for residential, day, clinical, and employment services providers.
ViaQuest will implement the use of the Software Support Specialist and mobile personal digital tablets to deliver disability rights training, quality of life survey, and consumer complaint/concern tracking that will improve self-advocacy. We have been using paper-based reporting for many years. This program will allow our direct care staff to access and enter client information onsite and in the home in real-time more efficiently. This will allow the staff to provide more hands-on time for self-advocacy and management can review data 24/7 to improve our quality of care.
The three main benefits of the program are:
- Improving Accuracy: Copying, missed entries, and misinformation are common issues with paper forms. Even when the paper forms are accurate, retrieving the information is difficult.
- Reducing Risk: Virtually every survey involves an intense examination of supportive documentation.
- Improving Quality of Life and Complaint Resolution: Direct Care Staff can transmit concerns and issues directly to the Client Advocate for resolution in real time. The Client Advocate can trend, compare, and analyze collected data to proactively monitor for changes in conditions.
It is expected that ViaQuest will employ a full time trainer to assure that proper training of the technology is provided and that ongoing support is available during implementation of the hardware and software. The trainer will be a certified trainer as defined by the software product company.
Components of the implementation include policy development to address work flow, hardware and software training, hardware and software deployment, dual paper and paperless systems, full implementation, and on-going training supports designed for orientation and annual training expectations.
As part of the grant funding, we expect the following outcomes and measurements:
Customer Satisfaction – The Software Support Specialist will be a resource for clients to become familiar with the technology and transmit survey results and complaints in real-time. Benchmark data will be captured in the Quality of Life Survey analysis to determine the level of customer satisfaction. The UCBDD data will also be compared to statewide data collected by ViaQuest in order to identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities.
Acquisition and Demonstration of Skills – The use of the mobile tablets will allow clients the ability to demonstrate their self-advocacy skills through an electronic medium in addition to using face-to-face communication. Quality of Life Survey allows direct care staff to have a framework to focus on teaching the acquisition and demonstration of self-advocacy skills for our clients. The survey ensures that every client is given the time to share their ideas in an appropriate manner and gain confidence in their ability. In addition, through ViaQuest’s process improvement program and our Client Advocate, they will be able to see that their requests will be acted upon.
Service Provision – The technology will increase ViaQuest’s ability to respond to requests for new services or change in services. By having a Software Support Specialist to train direct care staff, ViaQuest can ensure that the technology will be properly used to facilitate improvement plans.
This grant opportunity is a shining example of continuous improvement and innovation. Union County Board of Developmental Disabilities may have been the first to partner with VQF, but they most likely will not be the last. VQF has two statewide Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) contracts; one for CPR/First Aid Kits and one for Commercial Moving Services. Both of these contracts have created employment opportunities. Work is already underway to service Cuyahoga County’s moving needs.
If you would like more information about the ViaQuest Foundation’s work in Client Advocacy, CPR/First Aid Kits, or Commercial Moving; our contact information is below:
Patrick Soller, Executive Director, Pat.Soller@ViaQuestInc.com, 614-339-0847
Derek Kinzer, Client Advocate, Derek.Kinzer@ViaQuestInc.com, 614-374-0288
The ViaQuest Foundation, www.ViaQuestFoundation.org
Commercial Moving Services, GDC801
CPR/First Aid Kits, GDC997