Friday, December 8, 2023
HomeHealth & FitnessConversational AI helps Gaudenzia improve therapist performance and efficiency

Conversational AI helps Gaudenzia improve therapist performance and efficiency

Gaudenzia is one of the largest nonprofit drug and alcohol treatment and rehabilitation centers in the United States, with 51 locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, DC facilities serving 19,000 people and conducts 117 drug and alcohol treatment programs for men and women each year.


It’s no secret that the community has been facing a substance use disorder epidemic. When COVID-19 emerged, it only will exacerbate the problem. Earlier this year, the CDC estimated more than 100,000 overdose deaths in 2021, a record high.

This increase comes amid severe labor shortages across the healthcare sector, including Gaudenzia Time. So not only is more care required, but there are fewer team members who can take on the workload.

“At the conference level, each consultation session with the client requires detailed documentation and clinical notes,” Gaudenzia Outpatient Services Director Andrew Schmitt said he has a master’s degree in social work from Rutgers University and has more than 20 years of experience in the field of behavioral health care.

Our consultants also check with clients on factors such as their overall mental health, track their progress, and establish A rapport of mutual trust and respect,” explains Schmidt. “We take this human connection very seriously. At the same time, solid, accurate clinical documentation is essential to help us stay on track and accountable as an organization.”

Documentation is a time-consuming component of consulting and can reduce the amount of time employees spend in one-on-one interactions with clients.

“Another unique challenge facing our organization is that we have refined our treatment models to incorporate evidence-based counseling techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and motivational enhancement,” notes Schmitt.

“From a consulting perspective, tracking which ways clients are more sensitive across sessions, or tracking evidence-based techniques versus one session to another Conversation,” he continued. “This again makes documentation and having solid clinical records an important part of delivering quality care. We wanted to find an effective way to reduce the pressure on our team members while still ensuring accurate documentation and accountability.”

He added that from a supervisory standpoint, clinical supervisors have limited ability to provide direct supervision, sometimes relying on clinicians to self-report their progress with clients .

“This could lead to a subjective reporting structure, which is a challenge in terms of accountability,” he said. “This also affects our counselors’ ability to receive direct, actionable feedback or insights on how to improve their coaching methods.”


When it comes to documentation and clinical records, the idea of ​​automation presents a solution that frees up counselors to focus on client service. That’s Gaudenzia’s mission, so the prospect is exciting, Schmidt said. Our team members, including respecting their time and doing what we can to help prevent burnout,” he said. “By transcribing recorded client sessions and generating recommendations for clinical notes, automation has the potential to help our team members focus on caring for those in need. people while helping us provide a healthy work-life balance.

“This is especially important amidst the needs created by the pandemic, which we are still feeling today, ’ he added.

So Gaudenzia turned to conversational AI provider Eleos to create data and insights for its behavioral health practitioners.

“In terms of meeting insights, the suggestion is that Eleos can provide data such as advisor-to-client talk ratios, and it can report How closely evidence-based techniques are embedded in every class and throughout a series of sessions,” Schmidt said.

“This provides an opportunity for direct oversight on demand and allows clinicians to objectively evaluate and improve their own performance,” he continued. , where they can share how they are doing with their mental health and any challenges they are facing.

” It has been proposed that this data could be tracked across sessions and provide a visual representation of a customer’s progress over time, or whether Additional therapeutic interventions are needed,” Schmidt noted.

face the challenge

Many Gaudenzia consultants are already using this technology to record client meetings and benefit from AI-generated document suggestions, as well as help Session insights where they track their performance.

“One thing our team members find particularly helpful is being able to identify clusters of keywords that clients use frequently, as this has It helps ps to flag certain thought patterns or triggers that can be addressed in session,” explains Schmidt.

“Our facilitators found that while the AI ​​needed Over time, the quality of note suggestions generated from recorded sessions improves dramatically and frees up more time for our team members to interact directly with customers,” he continued.

This really helps to paint a complete picture of the consulting relationship and how – or if – the client is – he added , their treatment progressed.

Our team members have discovered that clients are just as interested in data as their advisors,” he said.

“We also often treat clients who don’t necessarily feel they need help or understand why we use certain healing techniques,” he continues. “The ability to bring specific, objective data into meetings helps clients connect and better understand their own needs. This can make the treatment process more collaborative and engaging. “

In order to implement this technology, the organization must integrate it with its electronic health records – Netsmart’s “My Avatar ” combined. This led the IT and EHR departments to work with Eleos and Netsmart to create a solution.

” Lucky Yes, Eleos’ working relationship with Netsmart has made this collaboration smoother than expected and resulted in a relatively seamless integration,” Schmitt noted.


One of the organization’s most notable successes to date since implementing AI technology was a 35% increase in team members’ use of evidence-based techniques.

“Our organization has made significant progress in evolving our treatment model to an evidence-based and person-centred The challenge is to stay on track and avoid inadvertent regression to previous technologies,” Schmidt noted. “It is important to see increased loyalty to our new treatment model.

” We also noticed that our clinicians took approximately 10 minutes to complete the meeting notes when making recommendations ,” he continued. “Using Eleos, it currently takes our clinicians an average of 3.2 minutes to complete their meeting notes. This has greatly improved the timeliness and quality of documentation.”

As of November 18th, Gaudenzia will train all of its outpatient programs on Eleos through 2022 through an improved onboarding method. The training process currently involves Eleos staff, Gaudenzia project staff as well as the IT and EHR teams.

“This helps us create a coordinated and integrated approach to training that meets the needs of our consultants and any other team members who need to interact with technology ,”He says.

Advice to others

“For any organization considering implementing this technology, an honest inventory of current projects and needs for staff is essential,” suggested Schmidt. The results are worth the investment, it does require a significant boost to implement the new technology.

“As it relates to AI platforms, it also requires a cultural shift among team members,” he continued . “I would say that organizations should be aware that there may be a wide range of responses, from those who support the technology to those who are skeptical or even paranoid about the impact of AI-based solutions.”

What Gaudenzia ultimately found helpful was providing education and resources through internal messaging, and acknowledging and praising team members who successfully improved using the technology

“I also recommend having an active program for leadership engagement,” he concluded. “When clinical directors and others in leadership roles are brought to the grassroots level so they can learn the ins and outs of the technology and see the benefits first-hand, it helps create a real sense of advocacy and allows us to lead by doing”

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT

Email the author: [email protected]
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS media publication.



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