Weber Human Services is a publicly funded behavioral health agency, primarily serving Medicaid clients. Weber offers mental health services annually to around 7,000 adults, children, and teens throughout two counties in Utah. Their 85 clinicians treat a variety of mental health concerns, including substance abuse. Most clients are self-referred with some coming to them by way of hospitals or the courts.
“More than a decade ago, we began working on implementing evidence-based treatments that had clinical research behind them,” said Darin Carver, Weber’s Associate Clinical Director. “With physical health, doctors try to match the client to the treatment that will be effective for their circumstance, but behavioral health is behind in using scientifically driven treatments in this way. We realized that to deliver high quality and effective care we first needed to better understand what was going on in sessions.”
Weber clinicians began recording sessions using handheld digital recorders that sat on their desks in 2012. They would then upload the sessions to share them with supervisors for review. Over time, Weber leadership realized that to truly measure sessions at scale and determine if the right treatments were being used, they would need more capacity and a far more efficient system.
Beta Testing Lyssn
“We were looking for a solution, but frankly there weren’t any that met our needs. That’s when I heard about Lyssn,” said Carver. “I knew Zac and Mike professionally, and I knew they shared my goal of delivering improved therapy outcomes with evidence-based practices. When they told me they were developing the platform, I was interested in seeing if it could help us streamline our workflow, and possibly provide us with additional insights into sessions.”
Lyssn established a pilot program for Weber with around 12 therapists recording sessions and receiving feedback via the Lyssn AI. “Those were early days for the platform, and we worked with the Lyssn team as they fine-tuned and advanced the technology. Right away it was a lot easier to record and safely store sessions, and we got session feedback very quickly. Since we started working with Lyssn, we’ve directly seen how their AI has improved as they worked with our data. This is especially true for the transcripts – which are quite accurate now.”
Integrating Lyssn Across the Organization
With a successful pilot and improved platform, Lyssn was integrated into the Weber workflow for all clinicians. “Sometimes, clinicians are concerned about being judged or deemed bad at their jobs when their sessions are being recorded. That just isn’t the case with recording, but there can be that hesitancy to overcome when a company introduces recording for the first time. We were already recording sessions, so the integration was pretty smooth. We never had any security issues, we were able to set our own protocols on the platform, and Lyssn took away a lot of the technical challenges we had before.”
Weber uses a hybrid approach with Lyssn feedback and analytics. Supervisors incorporate the Lyssn report information when coding sessions and use the platform to provide more specific and nuanced guidance to clinicians.
“There’s a quote by Bill Miller that I like, ‘Doing therapy without feedback is like bowling in the dark.’ You can’t improve the quality of a system if you have no idea what you need to change or improve in order to do better. You have to have some kind of feedback mechanism and coaching process, and Lyssn plays a really important role in that process for us. It’s an integral part of how we provide valuable and efficient feedback to clinicians about their work.”
Demonstrating Quality and Fidelity
With Lyssn, Weber can better demonstrate the effective and consistent use of evidence-based practices, improved skill levels of clinicians, and better outcomes. “The cost for Lyssn is pretty minimal, but it adds tremendous value by helping us measure the quality of the work we are doing. We’re committed to evidence-based care, and Lyssn is a big part of how we show the quality and efficacy of our services.”
The full integration of Lyssn was particularly helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic, during which clinicians were able to record sessions using the telehealth functionality and receive feedback remotely with time-linked annotated transcripts. “During COVID we didn’t have to store, handle internally, or secure any session data – that alone was worth every penny!”