Jen Higgins, Graduate Assistant
Eric M. Sauer, Clinic Director
Western Michigan University's Center for Counseling and Psychological Services in Grand Rapids (CCPS-GR) needed a software program that would allow us to electronically manage client schedules and clinical records. Part of the justification for this was that we were running out of storage space for our client charts and wanted a new system that would allow us to more efficiently manage clinical records.
In January 2006, CCPS-GR purchased and implemented a management system called Titanium Schedule. This clinic software system was designed for university college counseling centers. At WMU, we have found that this system is also well suited for psychology training clinics. More details about Titanium including software demonstrations can be found on their website: http://titaniumschedule.com.
The cost of the software is $2,400.00 for the first year and $1000.00 for each subsequent year. At WMU, we paid an additional $1000.00 to have client data from our old client scheduling system (Protégé) converted into Titanium data. We are happy to report that the conversion of data related to previous client appointments went flawlessly.
The program allows for all client information to be tracked electronically. For example, staff can track client appointments of various types (e.g., including individual, couples, and group counseling), as well as other many other counselor activities.
The scheduling software provides useful templates and the system can be tailored to fit the individual needs of each center.
The program also comes with a user-friendly manual, website, and technical support team. These features allow us to efficiently train 20 to 30 new student counselors each semester.
All client contact and demographic information are managed electronically and easy to access.
The system also includes a handy billing module for clinics that charge for services.
The system allows the director to control the level of information that each user has access to. For instance, front desk workers can schedule client appointments but cannot access confidential clinical records.
From the director's side, one of my favorite features is the Report function that allows me to quickly compile dozens of different clinic reports related to clients and services provided.
By using far less paper, the system is environmentally friendly.
We still need to maintain client charts to store clinic forms are signed by clients (e.g., client consent forms). The company is working on a way to scan these forms into an electronic format but that feature is not yet available. Beyond this, the only paper that gets added to the charts is the client's Outcome Questionnaires (OQs).
Counselors with access to Titanium also have access to every client's electronic file. I suppose this is no different from our old client chart system. It would be a more secure system if this could be restricted.
The system allows group appointment (i.e., groups, couples, family) notes to be electronically distributed so that a clinician does not have to write separate notes for each participant. Unfortunately, our counselors have had difficulty using this function and often end up writing separate notes for each participant.
Clinicians and supervisors each get an electronic task list - a list of case notes that need to be completed or signed off on. For some reason, at the supervisor level, sometimes these task lists can get quite long and thus they can fall behind on their electronic paperwork. Maybe it is easier to ignore a list on a computer versus a pile of files in your office.