Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

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Symposium #246
CE Offered: BACB
OBM in Clinics and Academia: Systems Approaches
Sunday, May 25, 2008
2:30 PM–3:50 PM
Area: OBM/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Cloyd Hyten (University of North Texas)
CE Instructor: Cloyd Hyten, Ph.D.

We will discuss applications of systems-based OBM approaches to improving organizational functioning in 4 different organizations, including profit and nonprofit clinics and in academic instruction.

Improving Administrative Operations for Better Client Service in a Medical/Behavioral Services Clinic.
STACEY HACKETT-RODTS (University of North Texas), Cloyd Hyten (University of North Texas)
Abstract: A non-profit health services organization specializing in developmental delays recently experienced turnover in the management of their administrative department, installed new operations software, and hired new clinicians. After multiple client complaints, they requested investigation of their administrative infrastructure. The goal of our consulting collaboration is to improve the quality of appointment intake information, enhance communication with clients, reduce no-shows, decrease wait list times, and continue to provide high-quality client care in accord with the organization’s business priorities. Assessment included investigation of the application process from initial client contact to appointment, direct observation of Client Services, clinician input forms, financial records, and client satisfaction interviews. Data demonstrated the critical need to address no-shows and the negative impact they have on the organization. Intervention included changing appointment reminders, revising some administrative processes, and restructuring of the client base to free up more appointment slots for new patients. Forecasted results include a reduction of no-show appointments allowing the organization to reduce appointment lag time, increased cash flow into the organization, increased administrative employee ownership in daily routines, and improved administrative department management.
Systems Approaches to Improve Undergraduate Performance.
ANA BARBARA NEVES (University of North Texas), Cloyd Hyten (University of North Texas), Donnie M. Staff (University of North Texas), Shane D. Isley (FEAT of Washington)
Abstract: Application of system theory to describe and analyze the “Teaching Assistant and Teaching Fellowship System “ - an organization designed to teach undergraduate students in Behavior Analysis introductory courses at University of North Texas. Supersystem and process maps were developed, based on informal assessments, interviews and questionnaires. Results indicated room for improvement on communication of goals, strategies and desired outputs; internal and external feedback; measurement procedures and data analysis. Analysis of interventions derived from this analysis suggested effects such as reduced micromanagement of students, effective use of signs of progress as feedback to students, and facilitation of helpful interactions between consultants, supervisors, staff and students.
Systems Analysis to Enhance Client Throughput and Client Outcomes in a Parent Training Clinic.
VALORI N. BERENDS (University of North Texas), Cloyd Hyten (University of North Texas)
Abstract: System analyses emphasize the importance of providing the most valuable services to clients and other receiving systems. In educational environments, this translates to preventing dropouts and advancing student repertoires. Using the principles of systems analysis as a guide, this study compared two class schedule formats used by Behavior Management and Parenting Services (BMAPS) in order to address the following research questions: 1) What effects do 2 different class formats have on student attrition and appointment keeping? 2) What effects do 2 different class formats have on student outcomes on a pre and posttest assessment? BMAPS provides parent education to individuals referred by Child Protective Services. The current research included approximately 200 referred clients with an appointment or class scheduled with BMAPS between January 1, 2006 and September 22, 2007. Data was collected by reviewing client files for class attendance and performance records. Results of this study allow BMAPS to enlist the class format that is correlated with better attrition rates and client outcomes.
Avoiding Hourly Pay Traps: Performance Measurement and Pay in a Private Autism Clinic.
CARLA M. SMITH (University of North Texas), Cloyd Hyten (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Companies providing services for children with autism and other developmental disabilities face fast paced growth and high turnover. These factors, when mixed with a tenure based raise system and hourly pay can spell financial trouble for a business—no matter how great their service provision. This paper reports on the process and outcomes of a performance pay system created for a company with 6 regional treatment centers. Information regarding the development of a performance pay package includes measurement and feedback tools, performance scorecards and child progress measures. These measures can be useful to other treatment service providers including managers and owners. This paper will discuss strategic considerations and practical realities in transforming conventional evaluation and pay systems to performance-based systems. Included are critical OBM notions of enhanced focus on outcomes instead of traditional emphasis on staff activity and staff tenure, multi-dimensional measurement, and the impact of pay on staff performance.



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