Service Plans Frequently Asked Questions







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The following frequently asked questions provide details on the most commonly asked about pieces of the Service Plans feature.  Click a question from the list here to navigate directly to the corresponding answer, or scroll through the full list of questions and answers below.

Can I complete service plans for each member of the household that is receiving services?

Can I write a service plan for a pending client?

Can the requirement for a signature for each service plan goal/objective in report mode be removed?

How do I change the date of the goal in a single-goal service plan?

How do I change who a service plan is assigned to?

How do I complete data entry on the service plan of a discharged client?

How do I correct / add a service plan date?

How do I delete a form that has been included in a service plan?

How do I delete a service plan?

How do I discontinue a goal that has been locked by subsequent revision?

How do I unlock an electronically signed service plan?

How does AWARDS use the done date that I enter on a service plan?

Should discharge planning carry forward to subsequent plans in an OASAS service plan?

Should the original service plan for a re-admitted client be available wit his/her current records?

What determines who appears as the worker/reviewer for service plans on the Service Plan Index page and in the Charting Timetable?

What does "goal text locked by subsequent revision" mean?

What does "locked by subsequent notes" mean?

What household info appears on the Independent Living Plan (ILP) and the Household Note for Tier II Shelters or other programs using this functionality?

What is a plan amendment?

What should I do if I receive a duplicate date error when trying to update the service plan schedule?

When are reminders sent about scheduled chart events?

Why am I told that a review with a done date is overdue when I try to write a plan linked note?

Why am I unable to link a group within a consumer's service plan even though he/she is set up as an expected group member?

Why am I unable to schedule a service plan with a date prior to an electronically signed plan?

Why are consumer comments not included on initial plans?

Why are the objectives under a goal in multiple goal service plan marked as "objective restarted" when I revise the goal?

Why are there blank signature lines on a service plan after it's electronically signed?

Why can I electronically sign one plan in a program but not another plan?

Why can I electronically sign plans in one program but not another?

Why can't I electronically sign a supervisee's service plans?

Why can't I enter a Done Date on a plan?

Why didn't my changes save when I tried to delete collateral input and criteria for discharge text from a plan?

Why do I receive a "no plan data" error when I click on the date link for a plan in the service plan index?

Why does the criteria for discharge text box have a name above it other than the person assigned to the plan or the service coordinator?

Why does the criteria for discharge text I entered in a plan in the service plan index?

Why does the "Delete Pair" option display for some objectives in service plans data entry, but not others?

Why don't I have the option to add to or make changes to a service plan that I reviewed?

Why is the order of items on a service plan different from review to review for the same client?

Why is there a scheduled service plan on a client's plan index that I can't open in data entry mode?

Why is there a strange symbol in a text box on a client's service plan?

Can I complete service plans for each member of the household that is receiving services?

Yes.  Once an admission has been processed for a household member, he or she is a full-fledged client in AWARDS, and you can interact with their record just like any other client in the program.  Staff with the appropriate permissions can complete service plans for these household members, and the service plan schedule set for that program will be in effect.

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Can I write a service plan for a pending client?

Yes.  There is a setting we can turn on by program type behind-the-scenes that enable users to complete an initial service plan for a client who has a processed intake, but not an admission.  If you are not presently able to write a service plan for pending clients and would like this feature turned on, please contact the Help Desk and let them know the program type for which it should be set.  In your request please also reference the internal code "ispwhen.w: cfg-show-admissionnote."  Thank you!

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Can the requirement for a signature for each service plan goal/objective in report mode be removed?

Yes.  It is possible to adjust service plan reports for each program so that there is only one signature line at the end of the plan rather than one after each goal/objective.  To find out if this change is right for your program or to request that it be made, contact the Help Desk.

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How do I change the date of the goal in a single-goal service plan?

The goal start date in single-goal service plans cannot be changed - it will always be the same as the plan date.  If it is necessary to indicate that the goal began on another date, the plan date will need to be changed using Update Schedule, or an amendment must be scheduled using the desired goal start date.

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How do I change who a service plan is assigned to?

To change the staff person a service plan is assigned to, use the Update Schedule feature located beneath the service plan index.  Within update schedule make changes to the "Reviewer" selections as necessary, then click UPDATE SCHEDULE to save your changes.

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How do I complete data entry on the service plan of a discharged client?

To update service plan data for a discharged client, select the roster archives on the Service Plan feature's client selection page.  When that option is used, the consumer selection list will be comprised of former clients instead of active clients.

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How do I correct / add a service plan date?

To correct the date of a service plan, use the Update Schedule feature located beneath the service plan index.  Within update schedule make changes to the "DueDate" values as necessary, then click UPDATE SCHEDULE to save your changes. 

To add a service plan date, use the NEXT line within update schedule to enter the information for that date, then click UPDATE SCHEDULE to save it.  Keep in mind that within update schedule dates must be entered in order from top to bottom.  If it is necessary to insert a new date between two existing dates, use the BACK FILL line instead of NEXT.

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How do I delete a form that has been included in a service plan?

To delete a form included in a service plan, you must access the relevant plan in data entry mode and click the red "x" icon next to the read-only name of the included form in the plan index.  Once an included form has been removed, you can then include a different form if needed or re-include the same form if you'd like to start from scratch.

  NOTE: The "Delete FormBuilder Form" permission is not required to complete this process as it is when deleting forms from some other AWARDS locations.

  NOTE: Form deletions are captured in the audit trail and can be viewed using the Audit Trail ReportBuilder.

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How do I delete a service plan?

If no data has been entered in a plan, it can be deleted using the Update Schedule feature located beneath the service plan index.  Plans available for deletion will have a delete checkbox next to them.  Click the checkbox and UPDATE to apply the change.

If the plan to be deleted does NOT have a delete checkbox next to it, please contact the Help Desk, providing details on the plan to be deleted.

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How do I discontinue a goal that has been locked by subsequent revision?

For each objective of the goal to be discontinued, change the Objective Outcome to "Service Continued."  Click Update to save your changes, and then return to data entry.  You'll now be able to select "Goal Discontinued" for the goal.  Click Update to save your changes.

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How do I unlock an electronically signed service plan?

At the time a record is electronically signed it is locked and can no longer be edited.  However, we understand that in rare instances staff utilizing electronic signatures may not be careful in confirming that they are signing the right document for the right client before proceeding, and that it may occasionally be necessary to correct such errors.  As a result, we have made available to agency staff functionality that can be used to remove electronic signatures from specific records at their discretion.  This functionality is only available upon request and must be turned on behind-the-scenes by your Senior Project Manager or the Foothold Help Desk.  For more information, please refer to the Removing Electronic Signatures - Instruction Sheet.

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How does AWARDS use the done date that I enter on a service plan?

Service plan done dates are used for several purposes:

  Service plan reminders stop once a done date is entered on a plan.

  When electronic signatures functionality is in use, a plan can be signed once a done date is entered and the "Done" option has been set to "yes."

  The Charting Timetable report uses the done date to determine whether a plan was completed later or on time, or not completed at all.

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Should discharge planning carry forward to subsequent plans in an OASAS service plan?

Yes, the discharge planning information will carry forward to the next plan.  In order to have it do so, you must click the UPDATE button at the bottom of the second page of the plan to which the information should be carried.  (The second page is the one on which all of the life areas and objectives are displayed and where the Update Life Area buttons are located.)

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Should the original service plan for a re-admitted client be available with his/her current records?

No.  When a client is discharged from a program the data from the service plan entered during the original program stay does not transfer over to the plan for the new program stay when the client is re-admitted.

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What determines who appears as the worker/reviewer for service plans on the Service Plan Index page and in the Charting Timetable?

The worker at the top of the Service Plan Index page is the assigned service coordinator for the client.  If you update the service coordinator assignment, that worker information will change accordingly.

The reviewer for the automatically scheduled admission note and initial plan is the primary service coordinator assigned at admission, unless/until that reviewer is changed in the service plan schedule.  As a result of updating the initial plan or a previous service plan review, the reviewer for the next plan review will be the individual who updated the plan.

  NOTE: If a primary worker was not assigned during the admission process, the reviewer on the service plan index defaults to the program director or deputy program director (configured under System Setup > Agency Program Information > Configure Administration).  If there is neither a program director nor a deputy director configured, the service plan reviewer defaults to "Unassigned."

The worker on the charting timetable populates from the reviewer information on the corresponding plan on the Service Plan Index page.  If you use the service plan schedule feature to change a reviewer for a particular plan, the worker in the charting timetable will be changed as well.

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What does "goal text locked by subsequent revision" mean?

The bold red "goal text locked by subsequent revision" notice beneath a goal indicates that the goal cannot be changed because one or more of its objectives have already been revised.  In the event that it is necessary to update both a goal and its objectives, you must first revise the goal, the objectives will then be restarted, and you can make any necessary changes to those objectives.  In order to revise a goal after one of its objectives has already been revised, you must undo the revision, schedule a plan amendment and revise the goal within that amendment, or wait until the next review and make the changes at that time.

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What does "locked by subsequent notes" mean?

When a goal or objective is locked by "subsequent notes" it is an indication that there are notes written against that part of the plan that have dates that are on or after the plan date.  If the locked portion of the plan needs to be revised, you can either complete a plan amendment using a date after the plan linked note date(s), or you can temporarily unlink the notes.  To do so, view the progress notes report and make note of the dates of those notes linked to the part of the plan to be changed.  Next, go into the Progress Notes feature in data entry mode and open the first of the notes in question.  (Keep in mind that you must be the note writer or have the "Surrogate Data Entry" permission in order to do this, and that it is possible that you will need the "Backdated Progress Notes Data Entry" permission depending on the note dates.)  Once the note is open, change the note type from service plan linked to general chart note and save.  Repeat as needed until all relevant notes are unlinked, then go into the service plan and make the necessary changes.  Once those changes are complete, go back into the Progress Notes feature and relink all of the notes to the correct plan components.

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What household info appears on the Independent Living Plan (ILP) and the Household Note for Tier II Shelters or other programs using this functionality?

The ILP displays all active household members for selection, regardless of whether they are admitted or not.  In the Household Note, all family members, except those that have been admitted, are included for selection.

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What is a plan amendment?

Amendments are typically used when a service plan or part of one needs to be reviewed before its scheduled due date. Within amendments, only the part of the plan to be changed needs to be reviewed unlike regular reviews where the entire plan must be reviewed before changes can be made.  If the addition of the plan amendment is not meant to impact the due date of the next plan, it is recommended that you use the "Back fill" line under Update Schedule to add the amendment to the service plan schedule, rather than "Next."

As mentioned above, amendments are scheduled using the Update Schedule feature located beneath the service plan index; however, not all programs are set up to schedule amendments.  If you do not see an amendment plan type within update schedule and would like more information on whether amendments are right for your program, please contact your Customer Success representative for guidance.

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What should I do if I receive a duplicate date error when trying to update the service plan schedule?

AWARDS does not allow for duplicate service plan dates; however, in rare instances (for example, due to problems with automatic plan scheduling) a duplicate date may be created.  In the event that this happens, please contact the Help Desk for assistance.  Be sure to provide them with the client name, program, existing plan date, and what new date you were entering.  They will assist you in making the correction.

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When are reminders sent about scheduled chart events?

Reminders for authorization events are sent at 6 weeks/42 days prior to the event's due date.  Reminders for all other types of events (including authorizations) are sent at 3 weeks/21 days, 2 weeks/14 days, and 1 week/7 days prior to an event's due date.  Once the due date of an event has passed, a reminder is sent every third day, excluding weekends.  The past due reminders stop once an event is 120 days overdue.

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Why am I told that a review with a done date is overdue when I try to write a plan linked note?

Service plan done dates control whether or not charting timetable reminder notices are sent for the plans - they do not determine whether or not a review has been completed for progress note data entry purposes.  In such cases, AWARDS looks in the plan to see whether there is actual review data entered.  If not, you will be prevented from writing plan linked notes against that plan if the last review was not completed within the last 90 days. 

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Why am I unable to link a group within a consumer's service plan even though he/she is set up as an expected group member?

There are a few possible reasons the linkage won't show:

  The consumer's start date in the group (under Group Schedule Setup) is after the date of the plan.

- OR -

  A service plan linked note with a contact date after the plan date has been entered into AWARDS.

- OR -

  The review of progress portion of a service plan review has not been completed.  The review of progress must be entered before you can add or change the group linkage for an existing goal/objective on the plan.

- OR -

  Service plans for your program are configured so that service types are set at the goal level.  In this case the ability to use group linkages will only display after the goal is written and saved.  When you return to data entry mode, the linkage feature will display.

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Why am I unable to schedule a service plan with a date prior to an electronically signed plan?

When a service plan is electronically signed, that plan, and all previous plans (other than the admission note, if applicable), are locked to prevent further edits.  As a part of the lock, it is not possible to schedule a plan component with a date prior to that of an electronically signed plan.

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Why are consumer comments not included on initial plans?

This is working as designed.  The residence/consumer comments of the service plan is considered part of the review data and as such will only be included on service plan reviews.

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Why are the methods under an objective in a single goal service plan marked as "method restarted" when I revise the objective?

When an objective is revised, AWARDS creates copies of all of the associated methods and marks these copies as restarted as of the date of the new plan.  The old methods are "tucked away" and kept with the objective on all previous plans.  You can overwrite these copies of the old methods and they will be saved with the newly revised objective.  You also have the option to delete any of the restarted methods, leave them unchanged, or add new methods as needed.

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Why are the objectives under a goal in a multiple goal service plan marked as "objective started" when I revise the goal?

When a goal is revised, AWARDS creates copies of all of the associated objectives and marks these copies as restarted as of the date of the new plan.  The old objectives are "tucked away" and kept with the goal on all previous plans.  You can overwrite these copies of the old objectives and they will be saved with the newly revised goal.  You also have the option to delete any of the restarted objectives, leave them unchanged, or add new objectives as needed.

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Why are there blank signature lines on a service plan after it's electronically signed?

When a progress note's author electronically signs a note, the blank signature line previously available for the writer's signature is removed; however, when working with service plans this is not necessarily the case.  Service plan signature lines are much more configurable than those found when working with progress notes.  As a result, a plan's electronic signatures may not match up exactly with the blank signature lines on the plan.  Those lines may continue to be viewable even after the plan is signed electronically.

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Why can I electronically sign one plan in a program but not another plan?

There are several reasons you may be able to sign some service plans and not others:

  You have already signed the plan.

  The service plan done date is outside of the signing window specified for your worker type using the System Setup module Business Rules feature.

  Your program may be set up to allow only certain worker types to sign notes and plans.  Your worker type as it relates to different clients may vary, impacting who you can sign plans for.  For example, if the program is set to allow electronic signing of service plans by primary service coordinators, you'll only be able to sign the plans of clients for whom you are the primary worker.

  NOTE: Please keep in mind that the note date also plays a role in determining whether or not the set rules for who can sign electronically apply to you.  Specifically, in order for a worker supervisor to sign a plan, the plan's done date must be after the date on which the work supervisor assignment was entered into AWARDS.  Likewise with service coordinators - in order for a worker/service coordinator to sign a plan. the plan's done date must be after the date on which the service coordinator assignment was entered into AWARDS. (Conversely, the date on which a program director was set up in AWARDS does NOT impact which plans the director can sign, as long as the plans are within the set signing window).

  Each program must configure its own electronic signature rules.  If a given program has not set those rules, electronic signing is not allowed for that program's plans.

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Why can I electronically sign plans in one program but not another?

There are several reasons you may be able to sign service plans in some programs but not others:

  Each program must configure its own electronic signature rules.  If a given program has not set those rules, electronic signing is not allowed for that program's plans.

  Because each program sets its own electronic signature rules, they will vary.  As a result, your worker type may be able to sign plans in one program and not another, or the signing window may vary from program to program.

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Why can't I electronically sign a supervisee's service plans?

There are several reasons you may not be able to sign a service plan for one of your supervisees:

  The program in which the plan was written has not configured its electronic signature rules, or has not configured them to allow work supervisors to sign.

  The service plan done date is outside of the signing window specified for your worker type during electronic signature rules configuration in the System Setup > Business Rules feature.

  You have already signed the plan in question.

  You are not set up as the plan reviewer's work supervisor under Human Resources > Staff Information.

  The plan's done date is not after the date on which the work supervisor assignment was entered into AWARDS.

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Why can't I enter a Done Date on a plan?

Some agencies are configured to restrict who can enter Done Dates for charting events.  If your agency uses this restriction you must have the Charting Event Done Date Data Entry permission in order for you to add/edit a plan's Done Date.

  NOTE: Permissions are assigned using the Permissions Maintenance feature.  If you do not have access to that feature and need a permission listed here, please contact your supervisor or your local Help Desk for assistance.

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Why didn't my changes save when I tried to delete collateral input and criteria for discharge text from a plan?

In some text boxes and fields within AWARDS existing text must be replaced rather than removed entirely.  The "Collateral Input" and "Criteria for Discharge" text boxes on service plans are two of those places.  In the event that you do not have new text with which to replace the existing text, it can be replaced with a placeholder such as a period.  (Note that a space is not considered a placeholder - an actual character must be entered.)

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Why do I receive a "no plan data" error when I click on the date link for a plan in the service plan index?

The date links on the service plan index can only open a report version of the plan if there is data in that plan.  Information entered on the first page of a service plan is not considered data, so it is possible that you will have completed that page of the plan and still receive the "no plan data" error.

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Why does the criteria for discharge text box have a name above it other than the person assigned to the plan or the service coordinator?

The name above the criteria for discharge text box is the person who last edited the information in that text box.

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Why does the criteria for discharge text I entered in a plan show up as a progress note for the client?

It is important to many AWARDS users to record what the criteria for discharge will be from the point of admission.  In order to aid in this, a "Criteria for Discharge Narrative" progress note will automatically be generated for a client and seen within the progress notes report when that data is entered in the client's service plan.  Note that the "written on" date for this type of note is the date on which the text was entered into the service plan.  The note date itself is always the date of the service plan in which the text was entered.

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Why does the "Delete Pair" option display for some objectives in service plans data entry, but not others?

The "Delete Pair" option is available for new objective/service pairs.  Once you revise the goals, objectives, and services on an existing plan, if you add a new objective/service pair, update the plan, and then return to data entry, you will see the "Delete Pair" option for the new objective/service pair.  Checking off this option and updating the plan will remove the restarted objective/service pair, but only for the revised goal.  The pair will still be in place for previous versions of the goal, for example on the service plan review prior to the one on which the goal was revised.

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Why don't I have the option to add or make changes to a service plan that I reviewed?

Double-check that each and every part of the plan has been reviewed.  If review of progress text and progress selections have not been entered for every goal/objective on the plan the review will not be considered complete.

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Why is the order of items on a service plan different from review to review for the same client?

The initial order that items are listed in on service plan reviews is based on the order in which they were entered into the system.  Each of them is assigned an ID number behind-the-scenes as it is entered into the service plan review, and that ID determines the order.  If you revise an item on the plan as part of the review progress, it is essentially closed and restarted as a new item, and is therefore given a new ID number, again behind-the-scenes.  That new ID number changes the overall order of the full service plan review's content.  At present, there's no way to adjust that order.

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Why is there a scheduled service plan on a client's plan index that I can't open in data entry mode?

By default, AWARDS prevents users from opening and working on service plan reviews whose due dates are more than a month in the future.  In the event that you need to work on a plan that is not available for selection on the service plan index for this reason, you will need the "Service Plan Early Review" permission.  That permission enables users who have it to open and work on any scheduled reviews, regardless of their due dates.

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Why is there a strange symbol in a text box on a client's service plan?

When text that is cut and paste from a Word document into AWARDS is spell checked using the AWARDS spell checker, it may result in the insertion of an character in the text.  This is a known issue which can usually be prevented by doing one or more of the following:

  Save the Word document from which the text will be pasted as plain text. 

  Delete any blank spaces before or after the text once it has been pasted into AWARDS.

  Use the Word spell check feature prior to pasting the text into AWARDS.

In the event that the symbol does appear in a client's plan, the user can manually delete it from the text box and save the plan.

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