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Behavioral Health Agency Advantages for Managing Remote Teams During the COVID 19 Pandemic

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In an industry where the mission is driven by face to face interaction, it could be assumed that the effects of COVID-19 and social distancing would have only tremendous negative implications on Behavioral Health & I/DD Providers – where social connection and human interaction are at the crux of your everyday work and passion. In a world of daily uncertainty, crisis, and imbalance, the thought of learning new skills to manage an already intensive industry, is daunting. As you are forced to abruptly replace face-to-face interactions with telehealth and remote working, there will certainly be new challenges and for you and your co-workers. But what about the incredibly unique opportunities you as providers have to navigate this time of transition to remote working? You are a courageous group of people – a characteristic absolutely essential to working in this industry. But you also have distinctive strengths and skills that will allow you to effectively navigate this unforeseen transition to remote work.

As a way to help behavioral health and I/DD providers manage remote working environments, we’re providing a quick guide that will repurpose your proven strategies for client management to work with your team.

Agency Advantage 1: Client Engagement as a Model for Remote Team Engagement  

Previously, we posted two blogs surrounding client engagement and maximizing the time between sessions with clients (aka, the time when clients are remote). Simply put, there are skills needed to creatively and intentionally engage clients that you have already cultivated. In the blogs, we talk about how one session a month is simply not enough time to build the necessary trust with your clients or partner with them to successfully accomplish their goals – as clinicians, you are forced to maximize time outside of the sessions themselves to truly see progress and engagement. Whether you are a manager or team member at an agency, we want to simply remind you of the very same tactics we outlined for client engagement between sessions and translate them to help with engaging one another as (newly formed) remote teams.   

For Team Members:

  • Instill trust from a distance. You likely do not know how or what your co-workers are feeling as you begin to transition to remote working. You also may not be aware of the larger personal challenges one may be facing during this crisis. It is important to use your training, empathy, and compassion to cultivate trust with each other in order to support each other well from a distance.  
  • Meet your co-worker where they are at. Listen intuitively, observe carefully, and ask the right questions at the right time. Do your best to speak the language of your co-workers based on comfortability with the transition to remote work, listen without judgment, and be mindful of when to confront or challenge a co-worker in their way of thinking as you navigate this together. 
  • Identify barriers of remote work and create solutions. It is important to be sensitive to your teammates and the barriers that may emerge – remain curious and seek to learn as you take new challenges head-on. Always seek to create a solution as you work through what is going well and what isn’t as a remote team. 

For Managers: 

  • Employee Journaling. Could we use the same practice we use with clients to help those we lead during this uncertain time? You may decide in the transition of leading a remote team that a daily or weekly team meeting is essential. No matter what the frequency, there is still time between each meeting in which your team is navigating new challenges. Encourage them to journal their emotions, barriers, and new learnings of working remotely. Create space for team members to then share what they are learning. This will help with increased feedback and ownership in obtaining goals – similar effects we see from client journaling.  
  • Ongoing Communication. As a leader, we encourage you to creatively maximize the time between regular team meetings with various forms of communication. What is the communication preference of your team members? What creative new outlets of communication can you integrate to effectively communicate (more to come soon on tools we recommend!)? What are out of the box ways in which you can check in with those on your team and socially connect one another? Again, use some of the creative means you and your team have already come up with to utilize with clients and apply them directly to one another. 
  • Include your team in decisions. A sure way to effectively achieve buy-in during this time of change is to include the people you lead in your decisions. Ask questions, gather feedback and input, and consider every side of the story as you weigh the best routes to take and decisions to make. 
  • Establish concrete goals. Your team will likely feel discouraged if they do not have clear and concrete goals to measure progress (this feeling of discouragement from lack of clarity will likely be enhanced when remote). Remember to include your team on the development of goals and outcomes you will measure while working together from a distance.  

Agency Advantage 2: Maximize Coping Strategies to Proactively Address Mental Health Challenges that Accompany Remote Work  

As a behavioral health provider, you have the unique skill set and capability to identify mental health challenges, while knowing how to most effectively cope with and navigate them. While making this transition into becoming a remote agency, it’s important to first be aware of the many mental health challenges that can come with remote work: isolation, feelings of being ‘out of sight, out of mind’ with a leader or teammate, stress accompanying new work boundaries physically and mentally, abrupt changes in routine, and many more.

For Team Members:

Once aware of the mental health challenges you are facing, it is important to encourage both in yourself and co-workers, ways to cope with these feelings you may be experiencing during this transition:

  • Take breaks
  • Practice yoga
  • Exercise
  • Aromatherapy
  • Meditation
  • Diet
  • Focused breathing
  • Social connectivity
  • And many more!

Don’t forget to integrate those creative coping practices you have come up with for clients and use them in your day to day.

For Managers:

While of course, it’s still important to deliver high-quality services for clients during this time, it’s equally important to keep on the forefront of our minds the time of crisis and uncertainty we are all living in – a time that no one was prepared for. This is an incredible opportunity to use the grace and compassion that so often characterizes this industry for those considered to be your most important assets – the individuals that make up your team. We are reminded during this time as leaders of how to truly create WOW moments in the lives of others: “Look for a way to lift someone up. And if that’s all you do, that’s enough” – Elizabeth Lesser 

Please reach out to anyone on our team at Remarkable Health if there are creative ways we can support you and your agency during this time. We are continuously looking for ways to remove the obstacles you face as providers – even the obstacles we can’t plan for or expect. 

Want to take it with you? Grab our takeaway guide to share with a co-worker or post at your desk!


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The Demise of the Desktop

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The internet isn’t just for watching YouTube videos or catching up on your Facebook profile page anymore. Over the last decade, the tech industry has been moving away from desktop applications in favor of web-based solutions. But why is that?

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Topgrading Process: How to Hire A Players at Your Agency

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By Amber Bollinger, VP People Operations at Remarkable Health

Hiring can be a bit like a game of roulette – you hope for the best but sometimes you don’t win. At Remarkable Health, we have greatly increased our odds of winning by adopting a proven and consistent process to insure we are only hiring A player talent. Established in, 1997 by Bradford Smart, Topgrading was created as an evaluative method to identify the best candidate for a job. In the Behavioral Health industry where engagement and retention are common challenges, the importance of hiring the best fit for a position intensifies. At Remarkable Health, we have found a process that has brought success to growing our team.

How it Works

 

Defining the Need:

Topgrading starts with defining the need and the role by creating a scorecard for the position. The scorecard differs from a typical job description in that it is focused on success outcomes of the position and competencies required for one to be effective in the role. By having this clear definition up front, both Hiring Manager and Recruiter are on the same page regarding who they are looking for in a candidate and what is being evaluated to obtain the best fit.

The scorecard is then used to create an outward facing job posting that highlights the expectations and competencies required for the position. Essentially, the posting is an advertisement and needs to be positioned in a way that will attract the right type of talent.

Screening:

As candidates come in, either by actively applying through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) or through the proactive sourcing efforts of the recruiter, their resumes are screened for specific trends and experiences. There are several factors that will eliminate a candidate from our process when screening, guided by Topgrading methodology. To prevent giving applicants the opportunity to manipulate our system, the details of what is being looked for are omitted from this blog. However, if your agency is interested in further details or training on the Topgrading process, please email VP of People, Amber Bollinger at abollinger@remarkablehealth.com.

Interviewing:

Those that meet the initial requirements are scheduled for a 30 minute phone screen interview with a recruiter whose goal is to determine if the candidate would likely pass the Topgrading process and be a culture fit. If upon initial assessment the recruiter feels that both are a yes, the candidate is referred to the Hiring Manager for review and to schedule an in person interview.

During the interview with the Hiring Manager, the goal is to assess specific job knowledge and experience to determine if they have the skills and abilities to perform the job. Any gaps in knowledge, skills or ability are noted and utilized to compare candidates. A candidate that has a track record of being a relentless learner, resourceful, and a quick study, will not necessarily be removed from the process if they don’t already possess the job experience needed.

Topgrading Interview:

The final candidate(s) are referred to the in depth Topgrading interview. This is an interview that is preferably done over the phone to allow the interviewer to take detailed notes, and includes a recruiter certified in Topgrading, and the Hiring Manager. This interview is a sequential interview that digs deeper into how and why the candidate has made decisions throughout their upbringing, education and career. There are many elements being looked at during this interview, which aren’t detailed here in order to maintain the integrity of the process. This interview is typically 2-3 hours in length depending on the candidate’s work history. At the conclusion of this interview the Recruiter and Hiring Manager will evaluate the candidate against the initial position scorecard created, the competencies identified, and a Topgrading Assessment to determine if the candidate grades out as an A Player, a Potential A Player, a B Player, or a C Player. The specifics on what is being looked for during screening, the Topgrading interview, how grade levels are measured, and more – are incorporated into our Topgrading Hiring Training available to all CT1 users.

Team Interview:

For candidates that pass the Topgrading interview, the next step is a team interview. This is time scheduled for the candidate to meet with key team members, peers and direct reports. The goal of this interview is to evaluate if the team dynamic with the candidate will be a positive one, and to flush out any lingering concerns. Feedback is obtained from those that participate in the team interview and if no additional concerns are identified, an offer is presented to the candidate.

After Hire:

The Topgrading process is utilized throughout the employee’s career. A quarterly Topgrading assessment is done to determine if each employee is still presenting as an A Player. If there is any change in performance, a plan is developed to get the individual back up to A Player status. It is a continual process to not only bring in A Player talent, but also maintain that talent. Topgrading is not a one and done process.

Topgrading Hiring Training

Topgrading is a very time intensive process, and may not be the right process for every agency. For us, we’ve found what works and have created a culture where Topgrading and associated terminology is known, understood and applied. We encourage you to find a hiring process that works for your agency, create buy-in and support from team members on that process, apply it consistently, and evaluate it regularly. If you are interested in learning more about Topgrading, or scheduling Topgrading Hiring Training for your team, please contact Amber Bollinger, VP People Operations at abollinger@remarkablehealth.com.

Learn how you can assess employee engagement within your organization with our Employee Engagement Survey.

About Remarkable Health

For over 25 years, Remarkable Health has pioneered innovation through technology for behavioral health and DD providers. Our integrated suite of outcomes management, EHR and mobile technology arms providers with the tools they need to improve client outcomes by spending less time on documentation and inefficient workarounds and more time delivering value-based care and engagement. To learn more about the CT|One EHR and CT|One Mobile app, or to learn more about ongoing training opportunities for your agency’s team, please contact us at (480) 550-8077 or visit our website at www.RemarkableHealth.com.

remarkable health employee christine peter

Remarkable Health Welcomes Christine Peter As Controller

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Scottsdale, AZ, June 25, 2019 – Remarkable Health is proud to announce Christine Peter has joined the company as Controller. Christine will oversee the accounting and finance department, driving transparency and accountability throughout the organization. Christine is an effective financial leader with over nine years of experience within both public and private companies, making her a strong addition to Remarkable Health.

Along with her team, Christine will enhance processes to produce accurate forecasts and deliver precise company-wide financial statements. Christine stated, “Remarkable Health is developing innovations within the behavioral health industry to remove obstacles faced by our clients. I am looking forward to working with such a skilled, driven and passionate team. I am eager to utilize my accounting experience in order to deliver accurate financials that will drive decision-making.”

Christine brings a dynamic lens of previous public and private accounting experience that will be indispensable here at Remarkable Health. She has a proven track record of high impact leadership, and will establish greater accountability and efficiency within the company. We’re eager to see Christine’s impact cascade directly to the agencies we partner with as we strive to remove obstacles for behavioral health providers.” states CEO, Peter Flick.

Prior to Remarkable Health, Christine was a Finance Manager at Envision Healthcare, one of the largest providers of physician services to hospital and health systems. She also previously served as Assistant Controller at Imaging Advantage, before the organization’s acquisition by Envision Healthcare. Earlier in her career, Christine worked as a Senior Audit Associate at KPMG, where she led multiple public and private audits in the healthcare and education industries. These experiences also allowed her to obtain her Certified Public Accountant certification from the Arizona State Board of Accountancy.

For additional information, visit https://remarkablehealth.com/.

About Remarkable Health

Remarkable Health is a 28-year pioneer offering practice management software to the Behavioral Health and Human Service community. Our provider success platform enables health care providers to improve more lives by spending less time in front of a screen and more time helping their clients. Our flagship product, CT|One is a complete hosted Electronic Health Record (EHR) – Clinical, Billing, Scheduling, Medication Management / e-Prescribing, Reporting, etc. – for inpatient, outpatient and residential settings.

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Confidence in Quality – Our Job, Your EHR Software

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By Stacey Torres, Quality Analyst at Remarkable Health

When I tell friends I am a Quality Analyst (QA for short) they often think I work on an assembly line at a factory ensuring certain parts meet a standard for a manufacturer. I quickly back-peddle. As you can imagine, testing computer software isn’t the typical connotation for Quality Analyst. In reality, there are similarities between these two types of QA. Both have the same underlying goal: to ensure the end product goes out to customers and end users in the best possible condition.

The role of a Software QA doesn’t start at the end of the “line” however.  We are involved very early on in a project. Understanding what the project entails at a detailed level helps us to determine the best course of action to take in order to effectively test a particular product feature.  At times, this means we test a feature piece by piece until the full scope of it is ready.  The complexity of the feature dictates our process.

Ideally, QA attempts to use a product the way a client would. Our role is to pay attention to all facets of the feature capabilities, going beyond correct system functionality. We look at screens to make sure color, size, font, etc. are accurate.  We spellcheck and grammar check. I am certain we even do things that make our developers cringe, and click where we shouldn’t click!  Our goal in all of this is to make sure you – the end users of the EHR software we are testing – are able to use this system and each feature successfully, without errors. Our goal is that the software becomes and is a tool you can rely on.

When an end user does experience a problem, QA gets involved to see if we are able to recreate the issue in our in-house QA environment. If so, we take steps to ensure this is properly tested going forward, and then are also part of testing the fix that is deployed to each agency.

At the end of a project, you can think of QA as last in the assembly line.  If we don’t give approval that a system passes our testing, it is not delivered to our customers.

At Remarkable Health, we are committed to creating innovative products and features without compromising quality. For over 25 years, Remarkable Health has pioneered innovation through technology for behavioral health and DD providers. Our integrated suite of outcomes management, EHR and mobile technology arms providers with the tools they need to improve client outcomes by spending less time on documentation and inefficient workarounds and more time delivering value-based care and engagement. To learn more about the CT|One EHR and the CT|One Mobile app, contact us at (480) 550-8077 or visit our website at www.RemarkableHealth.com.

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The Time In Between: Are you Maximizing the Gap Between Client Sessions?

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Depending on the needs and the modality of treatment for each client, we can spend significant time with our clients as providers. These session frequencies can range from weekly, biweekly, to even monthly. During these sessions, providers will spend an average of approximately 50 minutes engaging with the client. But are these 50 minutes a month enough to accomplish the goals set out in a client’s treatment plan?

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