Like many behavioral health providers, Stacy Massey—a counselor at Gaudenzia—wasn’t sold on AI technology out of the gate.
“I’ll be completely honest—when I first started with Eleos Scribe, I was a little resistant,” she said during a recent webinar with Eleos Health. “I asked a lot of questions—maybe too many.”
Breaking Through the Barrier of Resistance
The reason for her hesitation? That the presence of an AI documentation tool would negatively affect her clients’ therapy experience. “My biggest concern was making sure that my clients were comfortable—that they felt safe, and that the quality of interactions that I was having with them was not being impeded by the introduction of Scribe,” she continued.
What Massey found, though, is that most clients were open to having Eleos Scribe present during their sessions—and that it ultimately enhanced the quality of their conversations, because she was able to be more present knowing that Scribe would automatically handle the majority of required documentation. “After working through a lot of those hurdles…I did start using the product, and what I can tell you is that it’s really tremendous,” she continued. “I use it every day, [and] my interaction with my clients hasn’t changed at all.”
Removing the Distraction of Note-taking
What has changed is Massey’s ability to fully focus on the client in front of her—without having to worry about taking notes on the details she might otherwise forget by the time she gets a chance to write the session note.
“The biggest difference is that now instead of trying to jot down a couple of the key things I want to make sure I remember when I’m doing my notes at the end of the day, I don’t have to do that anymore,” Massey said. “I don’t have to end my session 10 minutes early so that I can try to get the note done while it’s all fresh in my head.”
According to Andrew Schmitt, LCSW, Director of Outpatient Services at Gaudenzia, easing the burden of documentation—both during and after client sessions—was one of the top pain points that drove Gaudenzia to adopt Eleos Scribe. Coming from a clinical background, Schmitt knows firsthand how difficult and time-consuming it is to stay on top of growing documentation demands.
“When you’re running through a number of services and then you come to the end of the day or the end of the week and you have all of these notes to do, it really is overwhelming,” Schmitt said. “Eleos provides a tremendous amount of relief in terms of giving the clinician something to start with.”
Freeing Providers from the Burden of Documentation
Since Gaudenzia’s full roll-out of Eleos last year, they’ve reached the point where 84% of note content is generated by Scribe, setting providers up to complete each note in about 4.8 minutes (down from about 10 minutes pre-Eleos). Essentially, the meat of the note is served up automatically—the provider just has to add the seasoning. “That 84% provides a really sound foundation for them to then cultivate and adjust the note to be client-centered and personalized,” Schmitt continued. “It saves a tremendous amount of time and energy as opposed to starting from scratch and staring at that blank screen.”
Like Massey, Schmitt believes the full benefit of that time savings extends beyond the provider.
“When you talk about the number of sessions a clinician is doing a week, on a monthly basis, on a quarterly basis, annualized—that really is tangible time that is given back to the clinician, and then also by default, back to the client,” Schmitt said. “So it really does allow for that snowball effect to not only improve the clinician’s experience in terms of work-life balance, but also improve our quality of care.”
Check out the video above for a quick overview of Eleos Scribe, and be sure to watch the full recording of our webinar with Gaudenzia for a more in-depth demo of the product.
Unlocking a Whole New Level of Evidence-based Care
Schmitt recounted a story he heard from another counselor at Gaudenzia whose client actually preferred having Eleos present for treatment sessions. “A client [whose counselor] had been using Eleos said, ‘I really like this Eleos thing,’” Schmitt recalled, adding that when the counselor asked the client why, they replied: “Well, you look at me during sessions now.”
Gaudenzia’s other key achievements with Eleos Scribe include submitting each completed note within 4.4 hours of the time of service—a stat Schmitt describes as “almost unbelievable”—as well as averaging 4 unique interventions per session.
Schmitt said the ability to detect therapeutic interventions has been invaluable on the care quality front. “From a best practice standpoint, that’s a critical resource of information,” he said, noting that in addition to fostering accountability for evidence-based practice adherence, this Scribe feature helps clinicians avoid “getting stuck in one set of interventions.”
The result? “We’ve seen over time a 35% increase in evidence-based techniques that are used by clinicians,” Schmitt said.
And as Gaudenzia providers complete more and more sessions with Scribe, the suggestions and insights delivered by the AI get better and better—because the models continuously learn and adjust based on user behavior and data input. In fact, Massey has already seen a noticeable difference in the accuracy of Scribe’s output.
“The suggestions that I’ve started to receive from Eleos have been far more in-depth than when I first started,” she said. “As I’ve used it, the note suggestions have gotten better. They do really well with picking up on each and every point that we discuss in the session.”
Achieving a Smooth AI Roll-out
To other behavioral health organizations considering an Augmented Intelligence solution like Eleos, Schmitt offers two main pieces of advice based on his experience. First, make sure the platform you choose is totally aligned with your providers’ existing workflows—including the technology they’re already using. Otherwise, you’ll have a tough time getting them to use it consistently enough to add real value. “Eleos is totally embedded within our EHR,” Schmitt said. “Another word I’ll use is seamless. It just flows as you would expect—there are no additional clicks, you don’t have to pivot between multiple monitors or platforms, and there’s not much, if any, disturbance in terms of overall workflow.”
Second, involve clinical leadership in your implementation and training efforts. “It’s a collaborative approach with a guiding hand,” Schmitt said, emphasizing the need to foster genuine buy-in among clinical supervisors and maintain open, frequent communication with them throughout the roll-out process. Additionally, he recommends holding those leaders and their teams accountable to specific utilization benchmarks to help get them over the barrier of initial resistance.
But once they clear that hurdle, Schmitt says most providers never look back.
“We really do see the vast majority of clinicians, once they get engaged with Eleos…they will say something to the effect of, ‘I can’t imagine not having this,’” Schmitt explained. “It really does transform the way in which they provide services and their overall experience as a clinician.”
That has certainly been the case for Massey. Now that she’s embraced the power and convenience of specialized AI for behavioral health, she can’t imagine her life without it. “I’m really thankful for Eleos,” she said. “I’m glad that we are using it, and I don’t know that I’d want to go back to not having it available.”