Posts Tagged ‘ global service process

Standardization, Accountability, Measurability, Continuous Improvement

CompassCare has been committed to serving the Pregnancy Center movement since 2006 by identifying standards, structuring client/patient care plans around those standards, providing real tools to maintain accountability of roles for those serving the women as well as creating and maintaining key measures that help each center know how well they are performing. This empowers the executive to make the targeted changes they need to make with their marketing or services that will keep them on the cutting of reaching and effectively serving that woman who says, “I need to have an abortion.” CompassCare is the only organization in the nation with a proven track record of helping pregnancy centers accomplish their mission in a way they have dreamed of doing for years (See CompassCare Case Histories). In fact, you can even watch interviews of executives that have experienced the difference by clicking here. But the real difference is in hearing about the experiences of the abortion-minded women we are all trying to reach.

CompassCare Is the National Pioneer in PRC Standardization, Accountability, Measurability, and Continuous Improvement

As a pioneer CompassCare led the charge to develop the first repeatable medical model in challenging New York State while most PRCs were under investigation by the then Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer. Out of that travail CompassCare birthed the first repeatable Linear Service Model of a medical PRC. CompassCare was the first to apply the terminology Global Services Model (GSM) and Linear Service Model (LSM) in an effort to teach executives at NIFLA about the distinct differences between the two paradigms. To read a history of the Linear Service Model in the PRC movement click here.

In fact, CompassCare has been fortunate enough to grow in such an adverse climate that we are often in a position to identify early what the abortion industry’s strategies will be and help pregnancy centers prepare for them. Many of the new allegations being leveled against pregnancy centers and how to avoid them were first taught by the CompassCare team. Listen to a list of free podcasts published in 2008 teaching PRC executives about the threats we as a movement are now facing and how to safeguard our organizations against them through standardization and accountability.

CompassCare is committed to helping pregnancy centers and executives in tangible ways to increase their effectiveness on the mission. We understand executives need answers from other executives who walk in their shoes day in and day out running pregnancy centers. For more information about the first and only comprehensive Linear Service Model (LSM), CompassCare’s Optimization Training program, click here. If you would like to contact a coach click here.

Linear Service Model=Continuous Improvement Part 2

Since we are committed to getting better at what we do we must be willing to do the hard work necessary to get and understand the right information about how our services are influencing our clients/patients in the first place. This is the value of a Linear Service Model. There are several elements required for an organization to begin to collect reliable information in order to make targeted changes to stay on the cutting edge of service. One of those things is an agreement on definition of terms. For example, it is not enough to agree  that an abortion-minded woman is someone who says she wants to have an abortion, or that a woman who is assessed as “Carry to Term” is one who says that she does not want an abortion. We must create a system of defining and assessing each woman used by each client advocate or nurse with each woman the same way. CompassCare’s system for doing just that is called the Abortion Vulnerability Rating Scale (AVRS).

Improving Your Service

Another necessity for organizations serious about continually improving is the standardization of services. This means that everyone from the people who answer the phones, to receptionists, to advocates, to nurses all perform their job the same way each time with little variation. The more variation in the way a task is performed the more difficult it becomes to assess what is not working and what to do to fix it. In some cases this requires scripts, sometimes training in the use of forms, sometimes a dress code but whatever is required disciplined thought always gives way to disciplined action, “What gets measures (disciplined thought), gets fixed (disciplined action).” If we as executives are disciplining ourselves and our organizations to improve it will almost always result in very specific actions that measurably improve on those things.

Another crucial element to measuring with an eye to improving is team work. A team that is committed to improving for the sake of the mission is a unified team. A team that does not know what they are trying to accomplish, will never know when they will arrive. This breads discontent, confusion, and mission drift. Clearly defining what you want to accomplish and what that means will provide focus to your staff and volunteers in a way that will empower them to do what is necessary to improve.

Above all, it is important to note that it is not the specific Linear Service Model that an organization uses that makes the difference. It is what the executive does to create a culture of continuous improvement that matters in the end. We are all of us on a journey and in many respects the journey is the destination. The days of believing that once we have added Ultrasound technology we will have arrived are over. Ultrasound technology is simply a tool. And those of us who have paved the way of developing and implementing a LSM understand that while the services offered by our PRCs are important the manner in which those services are provided are even more so.

CompassCare’s OT training program provides the only LSM with a customized web based patient database with a system to serve clients/patients that can be measured and changed. For more information go to prcoptimizationtool.com.

Update:  See Linear Service Model = Continuous Improvement, Part 1

A Linear Service Model=Continuous Improvement Part 1

So now that you know what a Linear Service Model is, what’s next? What makes a Linear Service Model so much better than a Global Service Model? Its simple: The ability to foster a community culture of continuous improvement within our Pregnancy Centers. The ability to understand what is not working and the ability to fix it.

As the pioneer in creating and implementing the only repeatable and measurable LSM for a PRC in the world you’ve come to the right place. At CompassCare we understand that no pregnancy center is perfect. We also understand that we executives serve because of our passion for the mission. It is our mission that drives us to excel. We know that there is not a sane woman alive who actually wants to have an abortion. She comes to our organization saying things like, “I’m stuck, trapped . . . I’ve got no other choice. I need to have an abortion.” Our mission is to erase the need for abortion in the mind of every woman.

As executives we are responsible to answer to our boards and ultimately to our communities that have invested so many resources in our organizations. We are responsible to give an answer as to how those valuable human and financial resources have been used to bridge the gap between a community with abortion and a community without. We need to give an answer as to how we delivered on the mission to reach and serve women seriously considering abortion helping them to have their babies.

Metrics Are a Bridge to an Abortion Free Future

And how do we as executives communicate the results our organizations are getting? And perhaps more importantly, how do we get better at what we are doing? This is what the business world calls the ‘Return On Investment’ or ROI. Talking to other pregnancy center executives is good. Attending Pregnancy Center related conferences can be good. But those activities don’t tell you how your organization is performing nor can they pinpoint exactly what your organization should do to get better.

The only thing that can help your organization make the right changes in right way is measuring the right things. Remember the old adage, “What gets measured gets fixed?” The question for us becomes, “What should we measure?” To see a CompassCare Master Metrics report designed to help OT executives get a good picture of how their organization is performing on the mission click on the following link: OT Network YTD Master 11.1.10

If your organization is determined to help reverse the abortion trend in your community then two of the most important categories to measure are; 1) Reaching the right women and 2) Serving them in the right way. Understanding and learning to use metrics will empower you as an executive to lead your pregnancy center into greater effectiveness than you ever imagined possible. In fact, one of CompassCare’s OT executives recently said to a group of executives in training, “If I didn’t have these metrics anymore, I’d close our doors.  It’s how I know that what we’re doing is working!”

Metrics: The Key to Success

For more information about CompassCare’s comprehensive advanced Linear Service Model (LSM) training click here.

Update:  See Linear Service Model = Continuous Improvement, Part 2

More Abortion-minded Women: Making Your Dream a Reality

An issue came up in a Pregnancy Center Leadership discussion group recently that we as executives think about all the time: “How can we reach more pregnant women truly at risk for abortion?” and its sister question, “How can we serve those women in a way that more consistently helps them have their babies?” The particular conversation centered around an executive of a Pregnancy Center in a Midwestern college town feeling like they are not reaching enough abortion-minded women compared to the number of abortions taking place there.

“What exactly leads you to conclude that you actually have a problem?” I asked. “You have made some logical assumptions but your logic is hidden to the rest of us. I am sure you have already figured this out but it would be helpful for the rest of us to get a really good handle on how you arrived at your concern and more importantly what to do about it. Would you be willing to be a little case study for us by answering the following questions for us to chew on? I believe the old adage is true: What gets measured gets fixed. Perhaps we can analyze this as a group of PRC executives in an effort to not only help you but help each other.

1. How many abortions occur in your area annually? 1000

2. How many abortion providers are in your county? 3

3. What is the primary ethnic, age and educational demographic of those women getting abortions? 18-24 Caucasian with 13 years of completed education (sophomore in college)

4. How many appointments did your organization schedule in 2009? 250

5. How many pregnancy tests were performed in 2009? 125

6. How many of those pregnancy tests were positive? 75

7. How many of those positive test patients did you consider to be ‘at risk for an abortion?’ 60

8. How many pregnant, at risk clients can you serve this year? Maybe 460

9. How many of the pregnant at risk patients received an ultrasound their fist visit? 45

10. How many of those said that they were going to continue the pregnancy at the end of their initial appointment? 38

The dream of this executive is to reach 460 pregnant women seriously considering abortion this year. Her initial impression was that all she needed to do was increase her advertising budget. Based on the information she provided if she wanted to reach all 460 women seriously considering abortion in her area using the organization’s current client trends and percentages she would need to filter through 12,000 client appoints per year!

We have found this scenario to represent the typical pregnancy center. What about your pregnancy center? This executive thought that the answer to her low client volume was more advertising. But there is a deeper issue at play. More advertising will only result in more of the same. The approach the center is taking in order to serve the right women in the right way needs  to be streamlined so they can accomplish their goal. (See Case Study of Omaha, NE Pregnancy Center) Otherwise they will be spending precious resources on women who are either not pregnant or not really at risk for abortion. The solution to this service problem lies at the philosophy of ministry that has been adopted. This pregnancy center while using an ultrasound machine is still in the old paradigm of pregnancy center ministry CompassCare coined the Global Service Model or Client-centered approach. In order for them to reach their goal of serving 460 pregnant at risk women they will need to adopt a new paradigm of ministry CompassCare coined the Linear Service Model (LSM).

For information about how to create a linear service model (LSM) to reach and effectively serve abortion-minded women go to prcoptimizationtool.com.

Linear Service Model vs Global Service Model Defined

After developing the first and only repeatable Linear Service Model for the pregnancy resource center movement many have asked me where the terms came from and what the differences are between a Linear Service Model or LSM and the traditional way a Pregnancy Center operates. Essentially, we started applying the terms in 2004-05 in an attempt to distinguish between what CompassCare had been doing and what we were now doing.

What is the difference anyway?

The definitions in the context of a Pregnancy Center are as follows:

  • Linear Service Model (LSM): An approach to serving women that focuses on solving the common problem of unplanned pregnancy each woman faces by taking each woman through a consistent, chronological, scripted, step-by-step decision-making process in an effort to answer the right questions in the right order. One of the key assumptions in a good LSM is that the manner in which services are provided is just as important as the services themselves. An LSM standardizes services to women and ensures that those services are provided the same way with each and every patient for the purposes of accountability (which safeguards the organization from attack), and for measurability (which allows for targeted changes to keep the organization on the cutting edge of service). This LSM can also accurately be termed the “Problem-focused Model” as it allows the organization to be an expert at solving a particular problem without having to be an expert at the individual circumstances of each patient/client. This is a more Biblical approach because it is the approach that God in Christ took by solving each person’s sin problem through solving the issue of sin itself on the cross.
  • Global Service Model (GSM): An approach to serving women that focuses on developing a relationship with each individual client using several different types of services in an effort to provide a place of “unconditional positive regard” an idea first developed by Carl Rogers. This model places the client in the driver’s seat by providing her with a menu board of services from which she can choose, also based on one of Carl Rogers’ ideas known as “Client-centered Therapy.” Each client is served differently at the discretion of client advocate or counselor usually beginning with a client-driven conversation lasting up to an hour. Often the counselor defers to the client as to her abortion-vulnerability rather than an objective assessment of her socio-economic situation which actually is the basis of the pressure to drive a woman to terminate her pregnancy. The counselor then attempts to provide certain types of information to dissuade her from having an abortion. The GSM is based on an unbiblical, modified, secular humanistic counseling model and is difficult to improve primarily because there is no way of accurately assessing the overall performance of the organization when each patient is served differently. Another term that could be used for the GSM is a “Client-centered Model.”

For case studies on centers implementing CompassCare’s Linear Service Model called the Optimization Tool go to prcoptimizationtool.com.

10% of All Client Appointments Are At Risk for Abortion Is Average?

At the average medical PRC, why is it that only 10% of the entire client load actually pregnant women seriously considering abortion? We have found that it has to do with how services are provided . . . based on a secular humanistic model of counseling. Can those Pregnancy Care Centers reverse that trend to 90% or more? The bad news is that we have only found one way to fix this problem and it cannot be done in less than 4 months and with nothing short of changing the way services are offered. To read a more detailed history of the pregnancy resource center model and why it is not working click the following link: Analysis of Why the PRC Is Not Working and How to Fix It

Let me clarify. Ultimately we need to have a trend reversal in the mission critical areas of the pregnancy center. This number of just 10% of all clients seen as at risk for abortion represents a deeper problem. For example, let’s say that your organization schedules an average of 200 appointments per year that actually show up. And of those 200 only 20 are considered pregnant and at risk for abortion. Furthermore lets say that you have the capacity to see 500 more clients this year. Since the typical PRC service strategy affords you the opportunity to see approximately 10% of your entire client load at risk for abortion (20 out of 200) you need to find a way to increase that.

Is this a marketing problem or is it deeper?

Let’s explore that question. To increase your client load to 700 using your same service strategy will only get you 105 total pregnant women at risk for abortion assuming you get all 700 women in the door. If the annual number of women in the market for an abortion in your area is 2,000 and you want to reach them all you immediately have a problem. To reach 2,000 using your current strategy would mean you would have to serve a little under 14,000 clients per year. I don’t know about you but our organization could not afford that. We had to find another way.

While advertising may be a valid concern it is not the primary problem. Women respond over time more to what an organization does and less to how it advertises. The real challenge for us is to come up with a model of service delivery that is laser focused on that one type of woman who is seriously considering abortion in our respective communities (i.e. 18-24 year old, college or young professional, single woman who is predominantly Caucasian). If you can reach her you can reach anyone else who may be considering abortion. But to do that you will need to re-engineer the services you provide as well as how you provide them. Building an organization that consistently reaches pregnant, at risk women requires 1) adopting a new more Biblical philosophy of service, 2) re-engineering your service to be consistent with that philosophy of service, and 3) time for news to spread into the population (6-18 months after re-invent).

I have uploaded a position paper Analysis of Why the PRC Is Not Working and How to Fix It providing more historical background on these issues. Also, consider exploring some of the case histories of PRCs that have made the jump to a new model of service and have seen a dramatic shift in their patient load on CompassCare’s Training website at www.compasscaretraining.org.

Imagine 95% of Your Clients At-Risk for Abortion

Imagine 95% of the pregnant clients that walk through your doors at risk for abortion. What if I told you that there are pregnancy centers currently operating for whom this is happening. What if I told you that there are medical PRCs right now for whom 80-90% of their client load is actually pregnant?

There is a saying I use in our executive training OT training, “Strategic Marketing is everything you do.” It is important to note that it really does not matter how large of a population you are attempting to reach, the population of women is fairly connected and the group of women you need to reach is always a very small percentage of that larger population of women and perhaps even more connected to one another due to their close age (18-24). Essentially this means that word gets out fast about an organization in terms of what is provided and how it is provided even in fairly large towns.

The average pregnancy resource center spends less than 10% of its resources on pregnant women who are seriously considering abortion. The following graph represents typical trends seen in the average PRC. Note that with each step there is approximately a 50% reduction in the number of women who actually qualify to go to the next level of service. Whether your organization is scheduling 1000 appointments or 100 take a look at your trends and see if they are in the ball park with the trends shown in this graph.

Advertising outlets and messaging is only as effective at reaching the abortion-minded woman as your service delivery strategy is at over delivering on her expectations. In fact advertising that hits your target of at risk women will work against you over time on a bell curve if the services provided do not match with her expectations. If an organization has a reputation for not providing relevant services or providing those services in a relevant way, even if that reputation is outdated or untrue, it will take at least a four year cycle to reinvent that reputation through re-engineering the services that are provided and the manner in which they are provided to better match with the expectations of the woman who is considering abortion.

What every PRC executive wants is to move their organization from the trend shown in the graph above to the one shown below. But we cannot get there by doing more of what we are currently doing. To save 1000 lives with the current service process used in an average medical PRC they would have to schedule over 25000 appointments every year. I don’t know of a single organization that has the resources to do that. We have to be willing to understand what is not working and change it to see more lives saved using fewer resources.

Increased PRC effectiveness requires a shift in the way we do things

Imagine seeing more at risk pregnant women and more of them having their babies while having your overall non-pregnant or not-at-risk client load decrease to less than 5% of the total clients your serve. The best way to optimize the results your center is getting is by re-engineering your services, moving from a traditional or client-focused model to a linear or problem-focused model of service. You can read more about it at www.compasscaretraining.org.

Solving Most PRC Vulnerablities: Moving from Global to Linear

Now that we have identified the most common and most damaging vulnerabilities in the medical pregnancy resource center (PRC) what should we do?  What is the next best step?  Listen to Jim Harden teach PRC executives about the paradigm shift required to move from our current global services format to a step by step linear service platform.  It is the best way to reach and serve women seriously considering abortion. 

NOTE:  Before listening to this podcast it is strongly recommended that you first listen to the podcasts dealing with the specific PRC vulnerabilities related to misinformation, misrepresentation, moral entrapment, lack of accountabilty and mission focus.