Through work in the PDSA Collaborative, Wood County sought to find a more time efficient and effective way to document their meetings with families, to simplify documentation, and to improve consistency between workers. The county attempted multiple different processes, and ultimately adopted and tweaked the structured case note created by Vilas County. In Spring 2021, the PDSA Collaborative team asked the entire Wood County Ongoing Unit, including those outside of the original PDSA team, to implement the new structure, termed the Visitation Preparation and Summary Sheet.
First, workers noted time efficiency and savings. The workers found they saved approximately 5-10 minutes per case note through using the Visitation Preparation and Summary Sheet. Workers were able to be more focused at visits which in turn made the time in homes more efficient.
Additionally, workers noted an improvement in overall effectiveness and thoroughness of notes resulting in better response, decision making and understanding of the case when needed to be accessed by another worker. This was specifically noted by workers needing to access a case during an on-call response, decision making at Access when a new report is received, and when a different worker or supervisor needs to cover the case unexpectedly during an absence. The content of these notes was also more helpful to new workers accessing the case during a Termination of Parental Rights, when the new worker found that better information was captured and organized within the case note.
Finally, there was also the downstream effect of improved team morale, great teamwork, and creative brainstorming. New workers were trained on this process and found it helpful as they had been unsure with what they needed to cover at each meeting.
As stated, the team went through multiple different tools before deciding upon the one linked below. Also, through use of the chosen tool, it was found that some of the areas covered in the tool were excessive for every meeting, leading to workers at times skipping over unnecessary sections. Rolling out the tool to the non-PDSA Collaborative Ongoing Unit took time, but were assisted through using the Unit Meeting Flyer to help explain the process, available in the hyperlink below. Questions were encouraged, and conversations helped explain the process and clarify expectations. In late Spring, additional meetings were held to further revise the tool prior to adoption.
The Wood County Visitation Preparation and Summary Sheet, as well as the Wood County Unit Meeting Flyer may be viewed and downloaded here:
Wood County Visitation Preparation and Summary Sheet
Wood County Unit Meeting Flyer