Grant funds collaboration to develop Web-based app

Ann Chaplaeu

Dr. Ann Chapleau

The latest Sammons Center for Innovation and Research in Occupational Based Technology grant was awarded to Dr. Ann Chapleau, associate professor of occupational therapy at WMU, and Dr. Ala Al-Fuqaha, professor of computer science at WMU. Chapleau and Al-Fuqaha are partnering to develop a mobile and Web-based application for Goal Attainment Scaling, a method of measuring individual and program goal attainment.

The GAS provides a structured framework for identifying specific, measurable and objective goals using a five-point scale of +2 to -2. It allows for a comparison of scores among multiple subjects with different goals, making it useful for program evaluation as well. The GAS is a documentation tool for practitioners who are experiencing increasing pressure to demonstrate accountability and to better predict outcomes. It has been increasingly used since 1968 in various rehab and academic settings, but there is no app available to simplify the documentation process.

Using the GAS app, the practitioner or goal setter can enter initial and re-evaluation goals at time of service, using an Android, iPhone or computer, even if Wi-Fi is not available. All data is automatically uploaded to the data base. At any given time, the practitioner or manager can review client progress. “And for program evaluation purposes,” says Chapleau, “the app will provide an analytics component which can generate customizable statistical reports in real time. Rather than waiting for monthly or quarterly reports of average levels of goal attainment, practitioners and managers will be alerted to unusually low or high levels of goal attainment in a timely fashion.”

Chapleau and Al-Fuqaha’s work represents a first time collaboration between the College of Health and Human Services and the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Sammons funds are being used to employ computer science students who are assisting in developing the app infrastructure. “This interprofessional collaboration is a valuable opportunity for our engineering students to learn how to apply computer technology to improve healthcare,” reflected Al-Fuqaha. “We hope to continue this partnership on future projects as well.”