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Therapist Helper

In 2004, after I finished my master's in Educational Technology and before I started working full time for the Agency, I did a consulting "gig" with them. This was perhaps my first real opportunity to put together my two fields of instructional design and systems design in an actual work situation. The Agency had purchased a software package called Therapist Helper for its Counseling Center Program - to do billing and scheduling and perhaps demographics and statistics. However, Therapist Helper was not really geared toward not-for-profts, so the Agency needed to learn how to "adapt" it to their needs, and if indeed this was the wisest thing to do.

When they contacted me they had implemented the scheduling portion of the software. They wanted some help implementing the billing.

What this amounted to was a complex cognitive task of matching or mapping one set of information (the not-for-profit client's billing requirements) onto another (Therapist Helper's billing capabilities) to help the client decide what was the best course of action. I took a constructivist approach by having group meetings in which various players - from accounting, from admitting and scheduling, and from IT areas - helped to construct and socially negotiate a cognitive map of the solution. I was pleased with the insights that the client gained into their own processes, the knowledge quickly gained about Therapist Helper, and with the great ideas and short cuts staff had which no outsider could have easily come up with.

Below is a brief history of this consulting experience.

Date

Hours

Task Description

7/8/2004

1.50

Initial Meeting with Agency

7/15/2004

1.50

Explored Therapist Helper's website, downloaded Therapist Helper, explored Therapist Helper

7/16/2004

1.00

Wrote up Agency project proposal

7/30/2004

1.50

Agency Meeting - identify each step of patient intake and billing, along with data captured and who captures it

8/5/2004

3.00

Wrote a summary report and developed Patient Cycle Chart(s) from  7/30 Agency Meeting

8/5/2004

1.00

Downloaded and went through Therapist Helper's Basic Training Module

8/6/2004

3.00

Created Agency test libraries in my copy Therapist Helper working from Agency's Fee Schedule for next week's run of test scenarios

8/12/2004

2.00

Agency Meeting - review Agency test scenarios and library entries

8/17/2004

1.00

Corrected and revised Patient Cycle Chart and wrote up summation of 8/12 Agency Meeting link to this

8/27/2204

1.50

Agency Meeting - reviewed how testing was progressing. Developed a list of basic billing scenario, a checklist for systematically following each scenario through TH, and a daily schedule for entering the scenarios.

8/31/2004

0.50

Wrote a brief summary report of 8/27 Agency meeting and sent it along with a list of definitions of key libraries I found by using the F1 key in my copy of TH.  Link to this

9/9/2004

1.50

Agency Meeting - debriefing on systematic entry of simple billing case scenarios

9/20/2004

0.50

Wrote a brief summary report of 9/9 Agency Meeting link to this

9/22/2004

0.50

Agency Meeting - debriefing on progress of testing more complex billing scenarios in TH and results of trying to use vendor's technical support.

10/6/2004

0.50

Agency Meeting - debriefing on progress made in TH testing. Agency has decided to enter services with 0 charges for DFC and other grant and agency clients and export these to Excel to do the actual billing so payments won't need to be applied back to individual accounts in these cases. Marilyn will arrange a conference call with TH customer support to discuss questions and issues that have come up during the testing

10/21/2004

3.00

Agency Meeting - debrief on progress made and work on problems encountered, specifically on exporting data to Excel to create DFC bill.

10/25/2004

0.75

Finished report for Agency on progress made and future considerations regarding actual implementation.

TOTAL

24.25

 

 

 
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