Board certified behavioral analysts (BCBA) and behavioral therapists (BT) provide important therapy services to children and families in need of behavioral interventions. Many families require in-home therapy services for their children, which can be tricky to schedule, manage, and track. Technology has made it easier to deliver care more consistently and efficiently in many healthcare fields, and ABA therapy is no exception.
To manage, communicate with, and empower ABA therapists to conduct health services more seamlessly, organizations need to connect supervisors and field personnel with the right tools. In turn, therapists can spend time focusing on their clients’ needs, leading to better progress and health outcomes for those in ABA therapy programs.
What is In-Home ABA Therapy?
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a specific type of therapy that is geared toward understanding and adjusting human behavior. This can include communication, social skills, reading, and overall learning, and is generally practiced using positive reinforcement.
This type of focused therapy is particularly useful for children and adults living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), developmental disabilities, or cognitive impairment, but can also be used to treat other conditions like:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Anxiety disorders
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Anger issues
In-home ABA therapy offers the same support and treatment as traditional, center-based practices, but in the comfort of the client’s own home. In most cases, a BCBA will visit the client’s home to conduct an initial assessment, which will then be used to develop a behavioral care plan tailored to the client’s specific needs. Then a BT, sometimes known as a Behavioral Interventionist (BI), works with the client directly to carry out the behavioral care plan.
By offering these essential services within the home, behavioral analysts and therapists ensure proper service provision for those who may not otherwise be able to travel to center-based therapies. For example, people living with disabilities that prevent them from leaving the home or those without access to transportation can still receive ABA therapy on a regular basis.
Telehealth ABA Therapy: Providing Remote Services
While home-based therapy is certainly effective in many situations, not all people who require ABA therapy can receive treatment in their homes. Telehealth, which refers to the use of technology like videoconferencing and other digital tools to diagnose and treat medical conditions, can bridge the gap between clients and therapists when in-home or center-based therapy is not an option.
The recent increase in telehealth ABA therapy services is key for people living with disabilities who may not be located in an area that can receive in-home services, or those with health conditions preventing close contact. In addition, telebehavioral health is often less costly and disruptive to patients and families. The need for remote services has become especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic, as both in-home treatment and center-based therapy are more restricted and regulated to reduce transmission of the virus.
Providing remote ABA services through telehealth therapy means people living with disabilities have even more access to treatment. Because this can be conducted without physical contact, essential services don’t need to come to a halt, and clients don’t have to risk losing progress within their care plans.
How Mobile Workforce Management Can Help with In-Home ABA Therapy
A great technology solution improves the delivery of behavioral therapy, meaning therapists can focus on improving outcomes for their clients and families. Technology to support mobile BCBAs and BTs is imperative for ensuring successful in-home and telehealth ABA services. From the first behavioral analysis session throughout every step of the behavioral care plan, mobile workforce management can help streamline appointment scheduling, time tracking, travel routes, and communication.
Manage complex therapist and patient schedules
Mobile workforce management software makes scheduling visits a breeze, whether the therapy is in-home or remote. Instead of relying on manual processes like spreadsheets for proper scheduling, a mobile-first scheduling system increases productivity by enabling ABA supervisors to:
- View, manage, and adjust schedules in real time
- Automate recurring appointment scheduling
- Process time off requests
- Schedule appointments based on travel time
- Communicate instantly with therapists in the field
- Match therapists and patients based on experience, qualifications, locations, or other key factors
Mobile workforce management—often referred to as mHealth technology—also benefits therapists, who can keep track of appointment times, changes, and cancellations, all in one, user-friendly place. They can also manage their preferences and availability directly from the mobile app or desktop software, so every client will be paired with the right ABA therapist every time.
Seamlessly integrate with other systems
Every part of the tech stack needs to work seamlessly together, and this interoperability is even more important in healthcare. Look for a software solution that works with the platforms and tools you already use, and gives your business room to grow and evolve.
Instead of using disparate systems to manage, schedule, track, and communicate with therapists in the field, find a platform that centralizes all your important data in one secure place. Certain technology solutions, like deskless productivity software, are great for this purpose; they are built to integrate with a wide range of billing, tracking, communication, and EHR tools, so you get the benefit of a full suite of tools, without sacrificing the ones you already know and love.
Increase visibility into therapist capacity
To accurately track and manage what’s going on in the field, case managers need more than field service software. Mobile workforce management or deskless productivity software helps you keep track of your therapists, nurses, and support staff in real-time. Use built-in tools to see where therapists are, track time spent at each appointment, and properly measure capacity. ABA therapists can record their services conducted and capture essential appointment information right on their mobile device, and back office staff can get full transparency into hours worked. That means happier mobile workers and more informed decision-making about the business.
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Autism & Behavioral Health
Improve communication with therapists in the field
For ABA therapists who work in clients’ homes or provide teletherapy from a remote location, it can be more of a challenge to manage appointment details, patient contact information, and updates from supervisors. With a deskless work platform, all of the crucial details—client history, appointment details, next steps, key updates—are in one secure place. Therapists and supervisors aren’t forced to use multiple modes of communication, like text messages, emails, and phone calls, to keep up with the day’s work. With a single source of truth (and just one “inbox” to check throughout the day), ABA therapists are more equipped and empowered to deliver care.
Receive real-time updates of delays and challenges
Because ABA therapists are often traveling to in-home appointments, it’s imperative to take into account potential delays that can affect clients, families, and therapists. With a mobile workforce management system, you can automatically send notifications of up-to-date arrival times and potential delays to clients and families. These proactive notifications help increase client satisfaction and decrease the chance of a therapist walking into a tense, difficult situation with a frustrated client.
A solution built for the deskless workforce should also take travel routes into account. Look for a tool that automatically generates the best route within the mobile app, ensuring therapists reach their clients as soon as possible.
Better manage and maintain client preferences
ABA supervisors and therapists know that no two clients are the same. In a practice where it’s particularly crucial to identify and understand client needs and preferences, you’ll need an easy way to capture those details. A cloud-based mobile workforce management tool gives therapists one place to track and manage vital health information, details surrounding the client’s home (i.e. if the patient has pets), emergency contacts, and more. By recording and updating these essential notes, therapists can guarantee personalized, top-notch care every time.
Enhance Delivery of ABA Therapy with Deskless Productivity Software
Skedulo’s deskless productivity cloud enables in-home and remote ABA therapy services by enabling real-time communication, scheduling, and field visibility in one place. Case Managers and therapists alike can spend less time worrying about field logistics and more time carrying out essential behavioral therapy plans for clients and families.
To learn more about how Skedulo can support ABA therapy services, book a demo today.