Online continuing education provider for mental health professionals by real professionals with real clinical experience.

2020 – 06 – Translating It All

So how do we translate all we have learned in this course into actually making a difference in your organization? So now you’ve done your research, you’ve learned a lot about your clients, and you have some ideas – but where do you go from here ?

Here are a few ideas. First, it’s important to include feedback from each stage of the experience map. Second, make sure to document both the positive things and the opportunities for improvements. Sometimes upper management can be fearful that the results will all be everything that they are doing wrong. But like we talked about at the beginning, this is also a great motivator to remember WHY we do what we do – the positive stories and the ways that we have made a difference are very helpful to share. So both those positives and the opportunities are important.

Another challenge is deciding where to put your time and resources. Perhaps you discover that potential clients are being turned off during the scheduling process because appointment wait times are too long, but at the same time patients who have completed treatment are not being connected with resources for long-term success and need more help after treatment is complete. Both of these are important problems, but you might not have the resources to manage both at the same time. To start with, you can work with your team to develop long-term goals that will require more resources versus short-term quick hits that can be implemented quickly and without as much effort. Next, assign timelines and responsibilities for getting each of these things done. One tool to help your team prioritize is to determine what improvements will have the most impact, versus how much effort they will take.

One thing not mentioned until this point is the importance of separating your clients into groups based on the services that they have received (a process known as segmentation). Many organizations offer different services such as outpatient, inpatient, in-home, crisis response, etc. All of these experiences are going to be different and unique for clients so it will be important to focus on the different groups of clients with different needs.

Another example of how to debrief with the team on what you learned – some questions to ask – such as what’s the single most important thing you took away as a needed action and next step.

And lastly is how to make it stick. We all know that initiatives can fizzle out and people forget about them – similar to a New Year’s resolution that you forget about by the end of January. However, every clinic is differently in how they become motivated to keep things moving. Find what works for your organization and stick to it. 

But trauma informed care is something that is always changing and always important. After you finish, you might want to fill out your experience maps with the highs and lows of each stage, and print them out to keep around your office. These can serve as reminders during meetings and decision-making. Continual monitoring and updating everyone with results is also important. If you are in leadership, you have the ability to keep this highly visible and to build in accountability for providing a positive client experience. If you are not in leadership, you can continue to share client stories, feedback, and advocate to your team things that need to be changes or considered to be sure the voice of the client is included.