I want to thank everyone who worked so hard to put on a fabulous 2019 Conference for Transformational Collaborative Outcomes Management (TCOM, for short!) TCOM, of course, is the framework behind such tools as the CANS, ANSA, and FAST, which seeks to improve the human services system through clearer communication … and advanced analytics! The TCOM convention is always a fascinating place, where people involved in all parts of the TCOM process come together: front line workers using the forms in making transformative care plans with their clients, supervisors and directors managing their programs and balance their workloads using TCOM reports, all the way up to planners and administrators who optimize their systems with TCOM Software insights. At the TCOM Conference we all get together to learn about what’s new in the field, and to provide our own input for the good of the collaborative.
One fun event from the Pre-Conference was the Data Sharing Workshop I conducted in collaboration with Stephen Shimshock Ph.D. and Kate Cordell Ph.D.. Each workshop participant had to do homework: They had to bring in some of their existing TCOM data in the “Program Profile” format as laid out in the Praed Reports Suite 2.0/3.0. This was a chance for accomplishing one of my favorite TCOM visions: Organizations and systems from different geographical locations comparing insights and outcomes in a meaningful way. From the feedback I’ve received so far, the workshop was a success, with people having learned a lot and enjoyed seeing the work of others. I think we’re going to try and do this workshop again next year, and we’ll be updating the format based on feedback. I’m also hoping we can get even more groups involved next year, as more and more projects are going live, and generating their own data.
I also had the chance to present with April Fernando, Ph.D. in the workshop entitled: Culture Blindness on Display: Reflecting Client Stories in Your Data. This workshop was inspired by a fact I have seen in many TCOM displays, which is while there will be a lot of meaningful data in the Risk, Functioning and Problem Presentation Domains … the Cultural needs domain will stay conspicuously blank. As you can see in the image below: Here is a child welfare program representing a racially diverse urban clientele … yet somehow there has never been a need in cultural stress, cultural identity, or traditions and rituals? This question was discussed amongst workshop participants, and I presented my concern that people simply have a hard time assessing for cultural issues, because of the “hot button” nature of the topic in our society. We then reviewed the value of engaging the topic with consumers, and reviewed how various TCOM items are meant to capture meaningful, actionable information for treatment planning. These items were all presented within broader TCOM understanding of culture, as well as the notion of “cultural humility,” which is a way we engage people who are “other” with a respectful, inquisitive approach, so that we can provide what we can to help.
Another fun thing I got do this year is work with Barbara Dunn M.S.W. of Magellan Healthcare in making a “Poster Session Scavenger Hunt.” Basically, we reviewed the posters beforehand, and picked out some good details that participants had to find in the poster. Congratulations to Catur Rismiati for being drawn as the winner from a handful of other all-right answer sheets. Our hope is that this game was both fun, and educational, and that it led to some good conversations between the poster makers and those who were looking to learn their project’s details. I’m thinking next year I might try to have people submit a suggested scavenger hunt question as they submit their posters, so that the poster developers can steer the game towards facts that they know to be most important.
So, obviously, those are just some Dan highlights, but there were many more adventures at what really, by all accounts, should be a dull conference (I mean … we’re talking about measurement tools here … :p). But in reality, we are a part of a fun and vital community right now, that is doing really good meaningful work, so it is always a pleasure to come together and learn.
An extra special shout out to Rebekka Shaffer, the conference organizer, who did a fabulous job, especially considering this is her first time leading a conference process. She also wrote an excellent blog essay on the conference which you can read here: https://tcomconversations.org/2019/10/18/tcom-conference-recap-stories-worth-telling/.