Devereux New York Treats Special Needs Children More Effectively With TeachMe From Operant Systems

RED HOOK, N.Y. — May 8, 2012 — Facing an unprecedented demand for limited services for special needs children affected with autism and other severe disabilities and disorders, Devereux New York, a nonprofit healthcare organization, has implemented TeachMe from Operant Systems, which uses Microsoft technologies Microsoft SQL Server and Windows Phone, to improve its strategy for collecting behavioral data and clinical analysis.

Devereux New York, like many healthcare providers, sought to increase the efficiency of its programs. With the number of children diagnosed with autism doubling in the past decade, services have become more expensive to provide and funding for them has become increasingly scarce. In addition, the applied behavioral analysis required for individual treatment programs depends upon a massive, virtually continuous collection of behavioral data for clinicians to analyze, which comes from staff who both work with the children and lug around binders and clipboards to record their behaviors.

In 2010, executive director John O’Keefe discovered TeachMe from Operant Systems and quickly found it more efficient and flexible than previous electronic systems for collection and analysis of behavioral data, which had typically been confined to client-server systems. With TeachMe and its integrated Microsoft technologies, Devereux staff is now able to use Windows Phones to record behavioral data in the field as it happens with an intuitive TeachMe app. The data is then seamlessly uploaded to SQL Server databases hosted by Operant at its datacenter via cloud technology. Clinicians can quickly analyze that data using a TeachMe Web interface from virtually anywhere at any time.

The implementation of TeachMe into Devereux’s business practices has been declared a success within the first year, especially for the children under their care. A 60 percent increase in the volume of data collection has resulted in faster and better analyses of behaviors and better refinements in treatment plans by clinicians. More in-depth analyses and closer tracking of progress has since allowed staff to successfully treat children with issues that are “more intense, more problematic” than before. For the first time Devereux New York was able to assemble comprehensive reports and analyses that cover a child’s experience across various environments, including as campus residents, day-program clients, intensive care facility (ICF) participants, or any combination.

“We know we can depend on Operant TeachMe for data collection and analysis because it’s built on Microsoft, from the front-end smartphones to the back-end database,” O’Keefe said.

Devereux has also opened four ICFs within the past year because it is better able to identify children who are likely to thrive in small-scale community settings, and better monitor and assess their progress.

More information on Devereux New York’s implantation of TeachMe, which uses SQL Server and Windows Phone technologies, is available in the Microsoft case study. Additional information can be found on the Microsoft Customer News Center.

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