Counselors spend too much time on non-clinical tasks that could be performed by others, limiting their time to work with clients.
Reassign non-clinical tasks so that counselors do not perform them. Counselors are typically the most limited resource.
STEP 2 in Reno, Nevada reduced the waiting time for treatment from 10 days to 5 days by shifting non-clinical responsibilities (e.g., administering urinalysis, giving out bus passes, etc.) from counselors to a client advocate. Several counselors kept track of everything that they did for several days; then they analyzed the results to identify activities that did not have to be performed by counselors.
Perinatal Treatment Services in Seattle, Washington increased available counselor time by inviting nurses to attend staffings, so that counselors didn’t need to spend time giving updates about clients who needed medical attention.
Gateway to Prevention and Recovery in Shawnee, Oklahoma increased available counselor time by shifting some information collection tasks from clinical staff to support staff.
Have several counselors keep track of all of their activities each day for several days so that they can evaluate how they’re spending their time. For example:
Number of hours per week that counselors spend in direct client time
Data Collection Form
Repeat this series of steps until you have re-assigned as many of the non-clinical tasks as possible to staff members who are not counselors.
To document activities, use the Time Ladder Activity Log.