During my time working on the health insurance side, I had the opportunity to review thousands of treatment plans from providers all across the country. I was always amazed at the variability I saw in the quality of these treatment plans. Some groups had sophisticated systems that automatically generated reports, other groups were sending Microsoft word documents in need of proofreading, but I had one major pet peeve… the absence of graphs.
Where are the Graphs?
One of the core components of Applied Behavior Analysis is the visual analysis of data, so I see it as problematic that many providers do not report data with the use of, or reference to graphs.
Baseline rates and current level are often reported, but wouldn’t it be much more meaningful to show the rate of change over time? What happened to the phase lines indicating modifications to the behavior intervention plan? Why is it that we are not clearly indicating the trend observed in the behavior, and reporting changes necessary when the behavior is not responding to the intervention? Why aren't we using latency data to support the effectiveness of interventions?
We could discuss the visual analysis of data on a global scale using the rates of skills acquisition and decrease in maladaptive behaviors to determine the individual’s responsiveness to treatment. We could then be using this level of responsiveness to inform expectations for outcomes, but thorough visual analysis is necessary to achieve this. So, why is it that so many treatment plans are presented without graphs?
As a field, we need to ensure that we are documenting and reporting the progress of our clients in a meaningful way. Work with RadBx to establish a higher standard of reporting and ensure that you are able to ensure the quality of care.