“Would you recommend the field of applied behavior analysis to a friend?”
A few years ago, we conducted a fact-finding session at our clinic. Involved in the session was one of our key senior staff members. She had been with us for four years and ran one of our clinic locations. She loved her job, and it showed in everything she did. It came as a complete surprise to me, then, when she answered whether she would recommend the field of ABA to a friend: She said, no, she would not… at least, she would not have before using Portia ABA Clinic Software.
Life before digital
Before Portia, she reasoned, she felt that she had no control in her job. She elaborated that she never felt she was on top of her learners’ programs, regardless of the number of learners. Moreover, if she had forgotten to prepare a report for a parent, she would often drive back to the office on her own time to get the required paperwork and learner binder, then drive back home to finish the report.
Life after digital
Now that we use Portia, she has all of her learners’ programs at her fingertips. If she needs a report, she can quickly log on to Portia and print out the one she needs— already graphed and ready to present. What was once a two-hour major inconvenience is now reduced to a two-minute procedure.
Throughout the rest of the fact-finding session, the staff at large went on to say that they are happier now as they have more time to stay on top of their programming and therapist training. Reviewing a three-inch binder is no fun task; once you start questioning the look of a graph, you know it’s going to be a long, arduous night.
Happiness and work-life balance
We all see the value of using technology in our clinics. Software cuts down on paper waste— our clinic is saving over $700/month in office supplies now that we’ve made the switch. It also reduces the likelihood of human error by making learner data easier to input and analyze (a priceless value). But what we often overlook is the effect software has on the happiness and work-life balance on our staff. Studies show again and again that the happier your staff, the better their performance. In 2014, researchers at the University of Warwick found that happiness actually increased productivity by 12%.
The bottom line
An increase in productivity affects your bottom line by saving time on non-billable hours and reducing your cost per learner. Even better, however, is the increase in quality of care that your clinicians can provide to the learners. An optimistic environment is contagious and creates a positive feedback loop. This makes the whole clinic happier, more productive, and more conducive to learning.