Data Management Tools: 4 Essentials in a Data Collection Solution

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Whether you are moving from paper and pencil data collection or looking for a more effective software to capture your data, numerous questions will undoubtedly arise. It is vitally important you know what the right questions are to ask as you look to either go digital or make a move from one digital platform to another that better fits your practice needs.

To help guide you to determine which data collection solution matches your needs, we’ve identified four essential questions that you need answered to evaluate data collection solutions and select the one best suited for your needs.

Which Data Types Does the Solution Support?

You certainly want to ensure that all data types that your agency uses are built in the software.  Sometimes the list of data types seems endless, but you need to make sure the essentials are covered. Make sure your solution can handle duration, rate, rating scale, score, time sampling, frequency, task analysis, percent independence, percent correct, trial or probe data.  Make sure to ask questions such as, will this work for skills such as toileting or other adaptive skills?  Will this work for data each hour, or data across hours of the day?  Furthermore, do you need more advanced data collection types like ABC data collection?  If your agency is multi-disciplinary, make sure there are data types that support those disciplines as well.

You really shouldn’t consider a solution that is not able to track skills that are common in your teaching practice.   CentralReach can track whichever skill you need to track, and is extremely customizable to set up the parameters of your specific data collection method.  When deciding on a software, never change your methodology to fit the platform.  Make sure the platform can work for you.  With CentralReach, users find that they are able to customize the system to match any method!

How do You Prefer to View and Chart Data?

One of the biggest reasons organizations go from paper and pencil to electronic is the amazing capabilities to chart and graph data with the beauty of technology. You press a button and hours of work are populated into easy-to-view graphs for you to analyze progress and goals. However, some solutions can do far more and provide more flexible options for graphic analysis than others.

CentralReach offers customizable goal metrics and graph views to look at the range, type, and information you need to analyze by day, week, month, year or any interval or time frame you need. There are also turnkey reports to evaluate progress with just one click.  From ABC graphs, learning opportunity graphs by provider, to scatterplots and advanced interval analysis, we have your graphing needs covered.  Did we mention all graphs pull to progress reports?

Can it Handle Documentation for Every Payor Source, School District, or Type of Record?

In addition to being flexible with the types of data you analyze, the solution you go with should also be flexible with the types of documents you can create with the data you have collected. Remember, the data is only as good as your ability to apply and easily share it.

CentralReach has agile document management that includes everything from stock templates  to fully customizable electronic documentation. Your software solution needs to support every need including but not limited to treatment plans or plans of care, incident tracking, behavior support plans and progress notes. All of which CentralReach does with ease.  In all of your documents, you can include baseline, teaching, or maintenance data, as well as all pertinent information, including any type of graph you need.

How Does the Solution Facilitate Collaboration Among Staff and Supervisors?

It is no secret that collaboration and communication are keys to success when working to help client’s master their goals.  But does the solution you have promote and provide tools for collaboration and communication?  It better, and it should be easy, intuitive, and HIPAA compliant!

Between built-in commenting live in Data sheets, a HIPAA-secure chat called ReachMe, and the ability to share and collaborate on program template creation, CentralReach takes digital collaboration and communication for clinicians to the next level. Admin team members can chat quickly, solo or within a group.  Supervisors can quickly chat or comment while a therapist in in the field.  Managers can quickly message all staff with the click of a button and share a video of a new teaching method!  It is crucial that your solution allows for seamless interactions within teams, and CentralReach has you covered.

One Final Question: Are Your Data Management Tools All Integrated Into One Solution?

Accurate data collection and easy analysis is the key to great clinical care.  However, the other side of the business — the practice management side — is crucial to business success. Make your life easier with less data entry and administrative labor, and pick a solution that allows your entire staff to work in one fully integrated and seamless solution with practice management, clinical data collection, HR, and learning management.

See what CentralReach can do to improve your data collection and management. Book a free demo today!