In the last article that we spent together, I got to briefly mention that some changes were taking place. Since then, Rosy has talked to you, current Tobosa employees, at the Overall Staff Meeting about some of the changes that have been taking place here at Tobosa. I want to take this opportunity to explain a little more to you about one change that has occurred in particular.
We have had the great opportunity to develop the Program Support Services Department (PSSD) to help support you, the direct care staff. Over the last two years, we have talked about developing this department to incorporate the Quality Assurance, Training, and Incident Management staff and responsibilities. The reorganization that has happened since July 1, 2016 has made the creation of this department possible. Our main vision behind developing the Program Support Services Department is to bring Tobosa back to the basics and to support you in providing quality care. There are several ways that this department can help support you:
- Identifying and solving problems by looking for trends and patterns in the documentation. I am very grateful to report to you that since July, the Quality Assurance staff has heard the frustrations of several teams already. Two of the teams expressed difficulties in identifying what could be causing an increase in behavioral challenges. Another team showed concern over an increase in injuries. The QA staff has worked tirelessly to look for patterns and trends in each team’s documentation to try and identify the possible triggers or causes. In better identifying the cause to an issue, we can troubleshoot how to resolve the situation or how to provide you with more support through the issue. By bringing the issue’s source to the surface, we can prevent similar instances from reoccurring.
- Amplifying the training department to better support you as staff. Starting in October we will be implementing an initial Assisting With Medication Delivery (AWMD) training class as well as a refresher course each month. These trainings are being set up to assist you and your team members to provide a higher quality of care. We all know that coming in early or staying late to help assist with medications can look good on your paycheck. On the other hand, it can also be very taxing on you personally. Although the overtime is nice, that extra responsibility prevents us from training in a timely manner. That’s where our quality of care is being compromised. By having the two AWMD classes each month, people on your team can refresh their certifications and the New Hires can get trained in less time. We strongly believe this will lead to an elevated quality of care.
In addition to adding these AWMD trainings, we are going to be introducing new training for documentation, how to be an effective direct support, and some safety training on transferring and lifting, etc. We’ll be training the new hires in the Therap system through the use of the Training Academy before they ever go on shift. This will allow them to be familiar with the system so that while they are shadowing, you can spend that time working with them on quality care and less on documentation. We understand that training new team members is hard and we want to share in that responsibility with you.
Lastly, our efforts with the Training Department come in the way of getting you your evaluations and raises in a more timely manner. We have put in a tickler system to remind you as well as your supervisors when it is time for your evaluations. It reminds us just like a training class. We are hoping that this system will keep employee evaluations being done so that you can get your raises faster.
- Ensuring proper programming and services to individuals. The PSSD is not only set up to assist you as staff, it has also been carefully developed to assist the individuals we serve as well. We will be out conducting interviews with the individuals, you, and members of your team. These interviews will be our attempt at gathering your input, learning the successful strategies you use, and documenting the individual’s needs for everything that you do to support them on a daily basis. The information gathered will be written up in a nice and neet profile for that individual called a Person Centered Assessment. These will be regulated by the State of New Mexico. The purpose of these assessments is to justify the need for services for each individual.
It is for these reasons that the Program Support Services Department was developed. I hope that by knowing a little more about why this department was built, you will begin to see us as a helpful resource. I am very delighted with the people we have chosen to be in the Program Supports Department. We are a department of creative thinkers and problem solvers. I am eager to introduce each one of them to you and to give you a chance to get to know us a little better. Thank you for allowing us to be an extended part of your team and for letting us help you provide a higher standard of care.