TEMPE, AZ — Scheduling autism care is a bit like weaving an intricate tapestry. Anywhere from two to five consultants and supervisors typically meet with a child several times a week, either at home or school – often as much as six hours of treatment a day. There are also sessions scheduled separately with the parents/guardians. When team meetings are needed, time in the schedule must be found for everyone involved in the client case to come together at the same time.
Further complicating the mix are frequent cancellations that occur if the child is not feeling up to a visit or if there is a scheduling conflict at school or with another activity. Now scheduling software for autism is available from Mediware (Tempe, AZ).
Efficiency Begins with Visibility
Like most scheduling systems, Mediware autism scheduler displays the schedule of each therapist on a grid, like a traditional appointment book. What makes it different is the ability to see the client’s schedule the same way, as a column on the grid. These columns not only display client appointments, but also note a client’s “not available times,” such as when they are at school or in other activities.
Scheduling staff can create custom views of the schedule on the fly, placing a client’s schedule alongside the schedules of the consultants working on the case. That way as cancellations occur throughout the week, Kirby can easily spot the best times to reschedule, when both the client and consultant are available.
Increased Productivity Leads to More Revenue
By rescheduling more of their cancellations and reducing staff down time, autism centers are raising productivity as much as 20%. This makes everyone happy. Therapists get paid for more of their scheduled hours; parents and children receive more of their scheduled services; and the treatment organization generates more revenue – especially important at a time when public funding for autism faces budget cuts and an uncertain future.
The scheduling system also provides an infinite number of color-coding options to add even greater visibility. Administrators can assign unique colors to quickly identify time spent directly with the client; indirect time spent on case management; school-funded visits; overlapping appointments with multiple consultants; client meetings and more.
Solid Documentation Ensures Payment, Reduces Audit Risk
The scheduling software also makes it easier to document cases. It keeps track of scheduled visits that are either completed or canceled and then prints reports of therapist hours worked, broken down by funding source.
The software can instantly display key stats such as:
- Funded hours for a client
- Actual hours delivered
- Hours cancelled and made up
This dramatically reduces time needed to file for reimbursement.
Therapists can also print time sheets that are signed by the parent after each visit. This thorough documentation comes in handy when funding sources call with questions or to review performance.
Accessibility to the Schedule Makes Everyone More Productive
A web-based version of Mediware’s scheduling software allows case supervisors to keep track of where every therapists is working at any time – ideal for traveling therapists who may visit several classrooms and homes throughout the day.
Better Information Improves Management
Another critical feature of the scheduler is the ability to track and analyze office activity.
If cancelled hours have not been made up for a particular client, the agency can follow up with the scheduler or consultant to improve the situation.