To advance the Systems Integration effort in New York State it was decided to develop a series of online training modules. This approach was chosen because:
It was important to the success of Systems Integration that there be a baseline level of training for all staff in the network
Some of the initiatives under Systems Integration such as consumer direction, options counseling and care transitions had previously only been implemented in selected counties of New York and it could not be assumed that there was the same level of knowledge among staff throughout the State requiring that training be offered
There was a need for an alternative delivery mode to traditional in-person regional delivery as there were not sufficient resources to support repeated in-person trainings and it would be challenging for County Offices for the Aging to release all staff to attend such a training
Systems integration was intended to be an on-going not a time limited initiative and online modules developed for the project would then also be available to assist in training new staff
The modules were to introduce Systems Integration and to address critical areas including dementia capability. The listing of modules was agreed by the Systems Integration Management Group and was reviewed with the directors of the Offices for the Aging and of local NY Connects providers. The scripts for each module was developed by QTAC-NY and reviewed by the Management group, by members of the relevant working group and by relevant staff in other State agencies. It was also decided that the online modules would be set up in a learning management system where pre and post tests would be administered and certificates of completion issued for each individual for successful completion of the modules and the testing.
The modules were also made available to Alzheimer’s Association Chapters in New York State as well as contracting aging network agencies.
There were five core competency modules that ranged in length from 45-90 minutes that were available within a learning management system with pre and post questionnaires, tracking of completion, and the ability to generate completion certificates. Within the online system, there was also an option for county office directors to offer a group, in-person version of the training with attendance sheets completed and forwarded to QTAC-NY and entered into the Systems Integration Training Database.
Modules six through eight were developed later during the grant extension phase, and did not include the enhanced online features but available for online access.
All modules developed for this project will continue to be available to the aging and NY Connects network.
Understanding Systems Integration
The module explains the origins and the components of the Systems Integration Project, how it advances the aging and disability networks in New York and builds relationships with other sectors including benefits, mental health and substance abuse services, and provides the plan for its implementation.
Consumer Directed Long Term Services and Supports
The module outlines the philosophy and key strategies of consumer directed or participant directed services, and explains how it is being implemented in New York including its incorporation in the Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly Program (EISEP) and its equally important role in supporting people with disabilities in the community.
The module outlines the philosophy and key strategies of care transitions and its relationship to maintaining older adults and people with disabilities in the community and in avoiding readmissions to hospital. Key roles for aging and disability network organizations are described including the role of NY Connects in linking participants to long term services and supports.
Evidence-based programs for Health Promotion, Disease Prevention and Caregiver Support
The module provides a definition for evidence-based and explains the importance of such interventions for older adults, for persons with disabilities and for caregivers. A number of interventions are described which meet Tier I requirements for Title IIIID funding under the Older Americans Act.
As the project was ending development was completed on three additional modules:
The module provides definitions of cultural competency and related concepts explains culturally competence practice and provides a number of additional resources
The module provides definition of key concepts in business planning, reviews the components for an effective business plan for public and not-for-profit agencies and gives examples of potential sources of revenue.
Options Counseling/Person-Centered Counseling.
The module defines options counseling and person-centered counseling, offers guidance on when options counseling and person centered counseling are most effectively utilized and describes the strategies and related documentation that will support the implementation of these approaches
Options Counseling/Person-Centered Counseling was delivered in three parts (1) a YouTube delivered basics module completed online, then (2) an in-person trainings series across the State and (3) the development of additional materials (a manual and DVD).