Posted in Eleanor Cawley, M.S., OTR/L

-Can I Save and use Rubrics in MicroSoft OneNote?

As an occupational therapist, working as an independent contractor, I have been asked quite frequently, what programming do I use for notes. Well, I use Microsoft OneNote.  I love the versatility of this program and the auto-save feature.  If I need run to my next appointment, I never have to worry if I have saved the notes that I have just written.  Notes are always legible and you can make templates for note forms that you use regularly.

One thing that I really like about OneNote is that I can create my assessment rubrics [you know that I am a big fan of rubrics] and save each one as a template.

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Screen Capture of a rubric in OneNote

Do you see those little green boxes?  Just one click [if on a computer] or tap [if on a tablet] and OneNote will check the box for you. Once you set up your rubrics and save them as templates [you must save templates only once], they will be available to you forever. You then have accurate and transparent data collection for each session.  I recommend using one page per session.  You can also make templates in Excel to graph your data.

I recommend making a notebook for each individual patient.  Templates are available across all notebooks that you create [another cool feature].  When you discharge the patient, import the Excel file into OneNote and you will have complete and accurate data of the patient’s progress [with a graphic] over the course of your treatment.  You will have to enter the data separately into the Excel file but it is faster and more accurate.

My book, Using Rubrics to Monitor Outcomes in Occupational Therapy, explains how to develop and modify a rubric and the importance of accountability and transparency in our documentation.  Adapting to the new regulations can only support and teach others about what we do so that we do not get swallowed up by professions waiting to do so.  While this may be initially time consuming, once you have your assessment rubrics in place, documentation will be easy.  Remember, you can e-mail a page using a HIPPA Compliant e-mail system [like hushmail.com] or print it for your records.

Author:

I am an occupational therapist with 18 years of experience in the pediatric sector, much of that time as an independent contractor. I am very passionate about my work and my writing. My degrees include a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Sciences and a Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy from Touro College. Since graduating as a non-traditional student, I have worked in a variety of settings throughout the life span but settled in the area of school-based therapy. My interests lie in the area of using technology to support independence and I often train students to use programming not only to monitor their own goal progress but also support educational, vocational and life skills. Another area of particular interest is documentation. As an independent contractor for many years, I feel that it is important to align methods of documenting goal progress with educators for greater consistency and understanding when writing for an IEP. It is better to plan a format for documentation used in the IEP, such as for assessment and goal progress and that a rubric, in many ways, fulfills the need for consistency in documentation across all domains. Combining my interest in technology and documentation, I use Microsoft OneNote to maintain all documentation. I create a digital notebook for each student or patient with any forms required uploaded as templates which can then be completed, and saved automatically. I strongly believe in student centered approach to therapy. Students must be active participants in developing goals and documenting progress. In order to help students understand their progress, I teach my students to develop electronic portfolios and to use spreadsheet programming with graphs to collect data and view progress, whenever possible.