Summer is time for vacations, the beach, fireworks, concerts, and many other ways to enjoy friends, family and the outdoors.
We are making the most of summer, but also working hard to make Nota the best app for helping therapists simplify documentation. With major thanks to the OTs who partnered and helped us on this project, we’re excited to release an enhancement to Nota’s documentation capabilities, Goal Areas.
Our inspiration for change is frequently when therapists tell us something is too difficult or takes too much time. This led us to developing goal areas. Because of how they work, speed of entry is the single most important criteria for a large set of therapists. In this case, speed doesn’t mean, “help me do this in half the time of my old system.” The goal we set for ourself is a note which could be finished in under a minute.
A second trend we noticed more recently is therapists expressing a desire to demonstrate measured progress. This may be due to insurance companies requesting evidence of treatments resulting in improved capabilities, or the desire to easily show evidence of progress to parents and caregivers of patients.
With these two things in mind, we set ourselves to finding the right goals for this project. Capture qualitative sensory notes, along with a way to display progress.
1. Create a treatment note a therapist could complete in less than 1 minute
2. Build the capability to plot data over time in a chart
3. Build it seamlessly into the treatment note
This felt ambitious, but also important enough it would make a big difference if we could find a good solution.
Here is how it works:
Step 1 - Writing a goal: Regardless of if you are writing notes in the SOAP style, or using only our new Goal Areas note, it starts with writing goals and objectives for a patient.
Step 2 - Tag your goals: This is where Goal Areas becomes relevant. Any functional goal can be tagged with one of the Goal Areas. To make the tags available, select the tag icon in the menu bar of the goal. Then tap in the tagging area and select any tags which apply to this particular goal.
Step 3 - Rating the Goal Areas: Once goals have been tagged, they are available in the treatment note. To document a visit, tap any of the boxes to quickly rate the performance of a patient in a visit and add a comment if you like.
That’s the full process for assigning Goal Areas and rating them in a treatment note. However, this is where it all comes together and gets exciting! Once a Goal Area has been rated on subsequent treatments, we provide a visual indicator of the ratings in both the treatment note history and in a printed treatment note.
This printed note, with the chart of past ratings, allows a therapist to to show the progress a patient makes across visits. Now that we’ve reviewed objectives #2 & #3, what about #1? This is where the ability to configure the treatment note plays a role.
For the therapists who prioritize speed of entry, adding the goal areas to the treatment note is great, but it doesn’t decrease the time necessary to complete it to under a minute. For the practices who need this, they can configure the fields which are visible in the treatment note, via their practice settings.
In this configure menu, a practice manager may decide which fields are visible. By un-checking the boxes for the SOAP components, a practice may configure their treatment note to only display the goal areas. You may also notice another time-saving capability in the settings, pre-populated text. For the “Plan” component, a practice may pre-populate text to appear in this area. This allows quick entry of only the key piece of information for the future plan, rather than repeated entry of common text.
With this setup, a therapist can enter the relevant information by tapping the ratings boxes and adding a comment when necessary. It took a lot of work to make the goal areas. We’re really happy with it and we’re excited to get feedback once more practices start using it. If you are using Nota, Thank you, we really appreciate it. Please get in touch and let us know your thoughts about this change to Nota. We’ll read every comment and suggestion which comes in.