ABPathfinder: Frequently Asked Questions

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ABPathfinder FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

At Alternative Behavior Strategies, we are committed to providing better care of our clients, investigation into their problems and further education of those who serve. As a parent of a child diagnosed with autism, we understand some of the challenges you face as you and your family find the best therapy solution for your child.

Therefore, we are pleased to implement ABPathfinder across our therapy centers. Below are some frequently asked questions about the tool.

For Parents:

  • My child was recently diagnosed with autism. What does ABA therapy entail?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a science in which procedures are systematically applied to improve socially significant behavior to a meaningful degree. An ABA program is a systematic teaching approach that involves breaking skills into small, easy-to-learn steps. Praise or other rewards are used to motivate the child, and progress is continuously measured for opportunities to optimize as needed.

ABA is widely recognized as the single most effective treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder and the only treatment shown to lead to substantial, lasting improvements in the lives of individuals with autism.

  • I’ve heard about ABPathfinder. What is it?

ABPathfinder is a leader in autism therapy management solutions that tracks skills and behaviors in one central software application, with complete data storage and security.

ABPathfinder helps the therapy team capture your child’s progress throughout his/her therapy sessions, allowing our therapists to build customized day-to-day plans for clients based on their current progress and future goals.

Alternative Behavior Strategies is proud to partner with ABPathfinder to offer a new tool to help our talented therapists as they work with your child during autism management therapy sessions.

>> FACT: A recent study resulted in a decrease of administrative time, but also an increase in therapy quality and consistency that resulted up to a 20% increase in the speed with which children mastered skills.

  • What are some of the benefits of ABPathfinder?

ABPathfinder allows our therapists to easily customize their therapy plans to fit the needs of your child quickly and efficiently by using its proprietary technology systems. By streamlining the administrative process, ABPathfinder empowers our therapists to focus more on your child’s therapy, reduce paperwork and capture accurate data securely.

In order to track your child’s success, our therapists note his/her success meticulously. Before ABPathfinder, we had to record each interaction by hand and graph the day-to-day progress. This process took hours. Now, with the help of ABPathfinder, paperwork is reduced and we’re able to track success in real-time.

>> FACT: ABPathfinder cuts administrative time spent on manual charting and data entry by about 50%.

>> FACT: In addition to the reduced administrative time, ABPathfinder can also increase the speed to master certain skills and behaviors by up to 20% for individuals.

>> FACT: ABPathfinder is one of the few tools on the market that is HIPAA compliant and securely stored on a remote server.

  • I’ve heard of several other therapy management systems. What is unique about ABPathfinder and why did you select them to be utilized at Alternative Behavior Strategies?

At Alternative Behavior Strategies, we are committed to providing better care of our clients. We are thrilled to have found a tool that delivers on this commitment.

When choosing a partner, we take the process very seriously. We believe ABPathfinder fits perfectly with our six fundamental values: quality, innovation, teamwork, service, integrity and compassion.

Flexibility – ABPathfinder is the most flexible tool for autism education. It enables our staff to craft individual lesson plans that are specific to the client’s and therapist’s needs. This tool helps empower our therapists to continue to deliver the highest level of quality of therapy.

Time-Saving – Due to its innovative solutions, ABPathfinder cuts administrative time spent on manual charting and data entry by up to 50%, allowing our therapists to focus on the client’s therapy, resulting in better service.

Secure – In addition to being HIPAA compliant, ABPathfinder is hosted in a secured environment and only accessed with a secured password to ensure the privacy of client profiles and information. This commitment to protecting the integrity of our clients’ privacy makes ABPathfinder the perfect partner for Alternative Behavior Strategies.

Improved Outcomes – By allowing our therapists to focus on your child’s therapy rather than paperwork, ABPathfinder can increase the speed in which children master certain skills and behaviors by up to 20%. These results are met when our technology partners truly understand the needs of our therapists and of our clients.

ABPathfinder has proved time and time again its commitment to delivering quality solutions to help improve outcomes.

  • What are the benefits for my child?

ABPathfinder tracks your child’s progress during therapy by capturing data digitally and in real-time, allowing our therapists to be more efficient with their time. With this tool, our therapists can focus more time on your child’s therapy curriculum and less time on routine paperwork.

Ultimately, with this tool, we achieve better outcomes. A recent study concluded that ABPathfinder increased therapy quality and consistency, resulting in a 20% increase in the speed with which children mastered certain skills and behaviors.

  • How will my child’s health information be used and kept confidential?

ABPathfinder recognizes the need for our clients’ progress to be private and secure. Therefore, the tool was developed to be fully HIPAA compliant and hosted in a secure environment.

Your child’s information can only be accessed with a secured password to ensure the privacy of client profiles and information. Any information that may be made available to authorized researchers is scrubbed of all individual identity information.

  • Will my child’s therapist use ABPathfinder?

At Alternative Behavior Strategies, we are proud to make this innovative tool available for all of our clients. Please contact your therapist to learn more about how this tool will be used during your child’s therapy sessions.

  • How should I use this program as a parent?

Your therapist will work with you individually to identify the best way for you to utilize ABPathfinder. Throughout the course of your child’s participation at Alternative Behavior Strategies, we remain committed to providing you thorough and accurate updates of his/her progress. With ABPathfinder, this process becomes more efficient and more accurate.

  • My therapist mentioned “benchmarks.” To what are they referring?

ABPathfinder has the ability to provide benchmarks that are used to demonstrate the therapy effectiveness. It allows therapist to compare the results of Alternative Behavior Strategies and our staff versus a pool of similar programs. This will help encourage higher quality, efficiency and value of care for each client, achieving optimal outcomes for your loved ones with autism.

  • I’d love to see how my child is progressing. How will results be shared with me?

In addition to making the data entry process easier for our therapists, ABPathfinder also allows us to pull progress reports in real-time. Each therapist will work with the client’s parents to find the process that works best for the client in regards to sharing these progress reports. Please check with your therapist to implement a process that works best for you.

  • How are data collected in real-time?

As your child completes certain tasks or behaviors, our therapists are able to input their responses on a tablet device in a matter of minutes. This information is submitted into ABPathfinder and allows therapists to create progress reports and future optimized lesson plans, based on the client’s current progress.

  • How does ABPathfinder benefit my therapist?

In order to track your child’s success, our therapists note his/her progress meticulously during or after each therapy session. Before ABPathfinder, we had to record each interaction by hand and graph the day-to-day progress. This process took hours. Now, with the help of ABPathfinder, paperwork is eliminated and we’re able to track success in real-time.

Additionally, ABPathfinder is the most flexible tool for autism education. It allows our staff to craft individual lesson plans that are specific to the client and therapist’s needs.

  • I want to learn more about the program. What resources are available?

Our consultant and team can help you with ABPathfinder, which also offers a variety of resources on its website at www.abpathfinder.com. We encourage all of our families to explore the website and take full advantage of all the resources they have to offer, including an engaging video and links to its informative blog.

ABPATHFINDER IN THE NEWS

To learn more about ABPathfinder, here are some recent articles:

TOP 10: Most Innovative Health Care Startups to Watch in 2015,” Healthcare Global, November 25, 2014

Entrepreneurs will be the ones to lead the reinvention of health care. Below are ten of the most innovative health care startups that are changing the industry for the better.

  1. ABPathfinder:
    ABPathfinder provides autism therapy software as a therapy management tool to aid therapists in defining and administering therapy programs for patients with autism. Therapists save administrative time, reduce staff training costs and improve the quality and consistency of therapy delivery. Using data analytics, ABPathfinder predicts outcomes, benchmarks performance and acts as a resource for researchers.

ABPathfinder raises Series A round from health care venture capital firm,” Silicon Prairie News, November 19, 2014

On Wednesday, ABPathfinder announced a “significant Series A investment” led by FCA Venture Partners, a Nashville-based venture capital firm focused on health care.

Previous ABPathfinder investor Dundee Venture Capital and Arkansas-based Tonic Fund also contributed to the round. Terms of the raise were not disclosed.

“We continue to have strong acceptance in the market and know that there are thousands more organizations that could benefit from the ABPathfinder software,”ABPathfinder president and CEO Jeff Blackwood said in a release. “FCA Venture Partners’ deep experience in the health care technology industry and proven track record of helping companies like ours scale will help ABPathfinder achieve our mission of helping therapists and educators maximize outcomes for their clients.”

ABPathfinder helps provide autism therapy management solutions to helps educators and therapists create lesson plans and collect, chart and analyze data while reducing paperwork and extra tasks—putting more time into the children they’re helping. A study completed in 2012 showed that ABPathfinder helped therapists increase a child’s skill acquisition up to 20 percent while cutting administrative time in half.

Blackwood says ABPathfinder hopes to expand its team of nine to a dozen people by the end of the year, with a goal of reaching 27 by the end of 2015. The startup also is working with local firm Cremalab on a UI/UX redesign of its product.

In June, the startup was accepted into the Startup Health Academy, a three-year nationally recognized program focused on companies in the health care space. Based out of New York, the Startup Health Academy combines entrepreneurial coaching with support from the health care community to scale companies like ABPathfinder.

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ABPathfinder accepted to three-year Startup Health Academy program,” Silicon Prairie News, June 24, 2014

Overland Park’s ABPathfinder is setting off on a three-year journey in a national startup healthcare program.

Earlier this month, the startup was accepted into the Startup Health Academy, a three-year nationally-recognized program focused on companies in the healthcare space. Based out of New York, the Startup Health Academy combines entrepreneurial coaching with support from the healthcare community to scale companies like ABPathfinder.

Currently the program includes 71 companies from seven countries. Companies don’t have to relocate to New York, but do attend quarterly summits there. Additionally the Academy hosts forums with industry experts, weekly office hours via video chat, and connections to industry investors and executives, to name a few.

“This was just the right fit for us,” ABPathfinder president and CEO Jeff Blackwood told SPN. “It’s not an accelerator like Sprint’s (mobile health accelerator) where you go for 90 days and then move on. This is a three-year-long program where the main goals are to help grow your business and help you get connected to the right organizations, healthcare companies and government officials that can really make a difference in where business is going.”

ABPathfinder helps provide autism therapy management solutions to helps educators and therapists create lesson plans and collect, chart and analyze data while reducing paperwork and extra tasks—putting more time into the children they’re helping.

“It’s a pretty big deal,” Blackwood said. “From the perspective of innovation in autism, this could make a huge difference for them, especially in terms of treating autism as a medical condition that technology can make a difference in.”

ABPathfinder is now beyond the first rollout of its services, with 31 customers across the U.S. including therapy centers and school districts. Blackwood says that the company has received reports that children with autism whose therapy teams are using software are, in some cases, gaining skills 20 percent faster than before. In terms of early intervention—the time between ages two and eight when a child’s brain is most receptive—the increase in learning is crucial, Blackwood said.

“If you can help them learn more successfully so they can go to school or go to Cub Scouts, the better off they’re going to be, and to an extent we’ve accomplished that,” he said.

Currently there’s data for about 2,000 children in ABPathfinder’s system, but by next year Blackwood says the company projects to have data for 10,000.

One of the Sprint Accelerator’s recent graduates, Medicast, also is a member of the Startup Health Academy. Medicast, which is based in Palo Alto, Calif., offers doctors on demand, delivering certified physicians to homes, offices and hotels within two hours.

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ABPathfinder Finalist – 2014 EdTech Digest Cool Tool Award!,” ABPathfinder.com, March 7, 2014

On March 7th, ABPathfinder was announced as a Finalist for the 2014 EdTech Digest Cool Tool Award! ABPathfinder entered in the field of emerging technology, with the goal of bringing our award winning software to the special education market.

ABPathfinder, LLC, developer of special education and therapy management solutions, is a finalist for a Cool Tool Award in the 2014 EdTech Digest Awards Program. The distinguished awards program recognizes outstanding solutions—and the best and brightest minds—in education and technology.

A panel of industry influencers and veterans conducted this year’s evaluation proceedings. ABPathfinder is nominated alongside education industry leaders and several Forbes 500 companies.

“There are now thousands of startups, apps and companies working in education—more than ever before,” said Victor Rivero, who oversees the awards program as editor-in-chief of EdTech Digest. “By recognizing these cool tools, leaders and trendsetters in the education technology space, we’re shining a spotlight on the best and brightest. We intend to generate even more activity in this sector, and continue the momentum of this revolution for the benefit of future generations.”

A contender in the Emerging Technology Solution category, ABPathfinder offers data management and analysis software tools to support special education and autism therapy. The company’s mission seeks to help children with autism live more social lives.

“Being a finalist in this category recognizes the importance of emerging technology in special education,” said ABPathfinder CEO and President Jeff Blackwood. “We are thankful that more tools are assisting educators teaching students with special needs, particularly tools like ABPathfinder that offer analysis and progress tracking to ensure the best possible outcomes.”

A full list of this year’s award finalists can be found at http://www.edtechdigest.com. Winners will be announced on March 20.

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ABPathfinder CEO Jeff Blackwood steps into autism advocacy roles,” Silicon Prairie News, February 5, 2014

ABPathfinder CEO Jeff Blackwood just stepped into two new roles that will build on his startup’s vision of helping those with autism. He’s been elected as vice president of the Autism Society–The Heartland, the Society’s local chapter, and also will serve as the National Autism Society’s advocacy representative for Kansas. The startup’s software helps therapists and teachers create plans for students and students without time-intensive paperwork. “ABPathfinder is dedicated to helping therapists and educators provide the best assistance possible to individuals affected by autism,” Blackwood said in the release. “As CEO, I want to contribute to the great work Autism Society–The Heartland does raising awareness about this disorder and collaborate with existing agencies and organizations to address the needs of the autism community.”

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Time on Journey,” Edtech Digest, February 21, 2014

A solution that means less time preparing plans and more time teaching students.

Formed in 2010 by veteran entrepreneurs and software industry experts in consultation with experts in special education and autism therapy, ABPathfinder is a company providing a cloud-based platform that helps educators and therapists craft lesson plans, as well as collect, graph and analyze performance data. The Kansas-based company, headed up by CEO Jeff Blackwood, develops software that improves the creation, implementation and management of lesson plans by providing special educators with an intelligent online data management tool and real-time data capture. The software can be used to create behavior plans, and provide assistants tools for working with students. The idea is that educators will spend less time preparing plans and more time teaching, and students will achieve better outcomes. “We recognized that people working in special education and autism therapy were challenged by balancing the amount of time they spend with the children versus the amount of time spent filling out paperwork,” explains Jeff. “As the incidence of autism increases, more and more children are receiving special education and therapy services. Schools and therapy centers are overwhelmed with paperwork and planning,” he says. “We knew that ABPathfinder could provide the right tools to assist therapists in spending less time on paperwork and more time with the children they help.”

Victor: What exactly does ABPathfinder do? What are its benefits? Who is it particularly tailored for?

Jeff: The ABPathfinder software eliminates the tedious paper and pen methods many therapy centers use to plan therapy and to collect, graph and analyze data. We translate these processes into software that helps the therapist be more efficient and effective.

This saves the therapy team time, and gives therapists more control over how the therapy is being delivered. They track the entered data in real-time and make adjustments more quickly than when they use three-ring binders. It also increases the quality of therapy for the kids. We conducted a study, which revealed that therapy teams using ABPathfinder software saw the children they worked with gain skills 20 percent faster because of the consistent improvement in the therapy being administered.

That’s why the software is designed for public schools’ special education departments and autism therapy centers to help them administer special education and therapy.

Victor: How is ABPathfinder unique from other similar products or services?

Jeff: Our company works with the therapists and schools to incorporate their curriculum into the software. From the moment they first log onto the software they will be using their own protocols. Schools and centers can continue to perform their curriculum and lesson planning the way they normally do; ABPathfinder simply acts as a workflow engine to help with lesson planning and the recording of the data.

Our software is built for flexibility, not only on the protocol side, but also on the mobile device side. ABPathfinder can be used with iPads, Android tablets and even with paper, so the school can continue to record information in whatever format they like.

Victor: What are some examples of ABPathfinder in action?

Jeff: Alternative Behavior Strategies, Inc. (ABS), based in Salt Lake City, Utah has successfully offered intensive therapy programs for three years. The clinic, however, knew it faced challenges with collecting and analyzing patient data via paper and pencil. As soon as the clinic found ABPathfinder, it recognized that the software could bring about dramatic change for their therapy team. We’ve heard incredible feedback from them, and they’ve said that they can’t imagine going back to the old paper and pen processes.

Victor: In your experience, what has been the most challenging aspect for school leaders and educators when managing time and data tracking in special education? The most rewarding? How does ABPathfinder address some of your concerns about education?

Jeff: Change is always going to require an investment of time. It’s a challenge for educators and therapists to dedicate the time to learning the software when they’re already overworked. Yet once they make that investment, they quickly start to realize the rewards and how it’s going to save them time on an ongoing basis throughout the school year. A little bit of pain up front leads to numerous benefits at the back end.

Victor: Thoughts on education in general these days?  

Jeff: In today’s schools, there is a lot of pressure put on educators. Many educators are doing the best they can, but don’t necessarily have the time, curriculum or software to take their instruction to the next level. The result is high turnover, particularly in special education. Educators work hard, but they also can burn out fast because they’re not getting the support they need. That’s why building tools like ABPathfinder is so important. It gives them a tangible way to see the day-to-day progress they’re making with the students they help.

Victor: Any advice for educators out there?

Jeff: Keep your eyes open for tools will that truly help you succeed. Be open to learning and understanding new products or processes. Even though it may take a time investment, that investment will often yield more positive results long-term.

Victor: Still early in 2014 – any thoughts looking back at 2013 or ahead to the rest of 2014?

Jeff: This past year, ABPathfinder worked to meet the basic needs of schools and therapy centers. Now we are expanding beyond the basics, and 2014 will be about significantly exceeding expectations with new features for more efficient and effective therapy.

Victor: What else can you tell educators and other leaders in and around education about the value of ABPathfinder?  

Jeff: Unfortunately, a lot of early adopters of classroom technology have been burned in the past, and they may be hesitant to try new education technology tools. ABPathfinder is part of a new generation of software that’s designed with the classroom in mind. We emulate the school’s existing processes, and give them a tool that improves workflow without trying to force them into a specific process. ABPathfinder is all about helping them improve their existing skill sets. It’s what every educator should be looking for – not to completely change current processes, but to look for tools like ABPathfinder that will make a process that much better.

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