Stars Community Services has had outstanding CANS/ANSA completion rates. We interviewed them to highlight this accomplishment and find out directly how they achieve it. Great job Stars team! Hopefully other providers will benefit from learning about your processes.
When asked what Stars staff attributed their stellar CANS completion rates to, they first stated “It’s required” candidly. But there is more to it than that or every agency would have the same level of CANS completion rates. They shared the following strategies that they think supports their outstanding completion rates. They have Opening, 30-day, 6-month, Annual and Discharge document checklists which include the CANS as one of the required documents. These checklists require signatures of the primary clinician and initials of supervisors and administrative staff are also required after they review the packets to help ensure all documents are present and complete for increased accountability. On these they have a prompt to supervisors to print the CANS and scan these into the EHR which keeps the supervisor more engaged in ensuring that the CANS is completed and submitted. Stars staff shared that their assessment and CANS are separate documents and though Stars has their own EHR, their primary clinicians enter their CANS directly into Objective Arts (OA). This has allowed the Research department to extract the CANS data from OA and produce some program level reporting. The clinicians are also utilizing CANS rating decreases to track the improvements of their clients in their treatment.
Training seems to be another key factor that has supported high completion rates for Stars. Veronique Lee stated that they have an all-day CANS Certification Training in their New Employee Orientation including time built in for trainees to take the test and this usually occurs within 2 weeks of hire. There are different tiers of training after New Employee Orientation to train staff on the clinical loop. Agency wide, Stars works to titrate trainings and do refreshers as well as provides program level trainings. Mattie’ Nogaye stated “It’s not a one stop shop”. Stars has 4 Leadership staff that have been certified as CANS Trainers. Having 4 Leaders is intentional to ensure that there is no void of training even when there is turnover or scheduling conflicts. In addition, Esmeralda Gonzalez emails all clinical staff CANS related training opportunities provided through the CANS Collaborative as they arise and she is also readily available as a consultant on an ongoing basis for clinical staff. When asked about any challenges they have had and how they overcame them, Chris shared that when the Praed Foundation switched to Schoox, the Training and QA department created a process map to ensure that CANS certifications were linked to the agency’s OA account. This helped prevent delays in staff being able to enter CANS in Objective Arts and so he stated he wished they had done this sooner.
It is clear that Stars has great systems in place to train and support their staff to not only get their CANS completed consistently when required, but also to hold themselves and each other accountable to a high level of compliance with all requirements which are in place to support their staff and the clients they serve.
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