FirstMatch is a software platform developed by Adelphoi Innovative Solutions (AIS), a cutting edge, solution-focused company that has served as a leading provider of services for at-risk youth and families in Pennsylvania for the past 50 years.
FirstMatch grew out of an AIS initiative to use data that it was already collecting as part of its admission process in order to improve outcomes for youth in placement. Working with researchers, AIS looked at several hundred cases and identified the clinical services that correlated with the successful completion of a program and increased the chances that they would remain out of care afterwards. After a pilot and a longitudinal study, the researchers identified six indicators that were then used to build a fidelity model that now drives AIS’s clinical protocol. Researchers also identified those variables, known as early predictors of success (EPS), that account for youth achieving positive outcomes as measured by Program Completion and Remain-out-of-Care rates. These factors were used to engineer a predictive analytics model, FirstMatch, for the more than 900 residential referrals that are made to AIS each year as well as referrals for youth requiring in-home services for mental health and behavioral health issues.
Recognizing the broader implications of this research and its usefulness for treatment decision makers, AIS has progressed FirstMatch into a multi-tier platform suitable for use by providers, county and state organizations. FirstMatch leverages data to predict the most appropriate match between youth and program, resulting in the best likelihood of success for that child post-discharge, while also offering users a broad-based admissions tracking and management tool.
SHAWN PECK, VICE PRESIDENT
Shawn Peck is Vice President for Adelphoi Innovative Solutions. Shawn oversees administration of all FirstMatch services.
Shawn previously served as SPEP Project Manager at the Evidence-Based Prevention and Intervention Support (EPIS) Center at Penn State University, and was responsible for engaging probation departments across the state to apply the findings of the Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol (SPEP™), a scoring system used to estimate the impact of juvenile justice programs on reducing recidivism. Shawn holds a Master of Public Administration from Penn State University and a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies from East Coast Bible College.
MARK MORTIMER, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Mark Mortimer is President and Chief Operating Officer of Adelphoi Village. Mark oversees planning, design and implementation of business operations at FirstMatch.
Mark began his career at Adelphoi as a counselor, and subsequently became Supervisor of Adelphoi’s Middle Creek Secure Group Home, which was named PA Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission Program of the Year in 2005. He has also served as Director of Residential Services and as Vice President at Adelphoi. Mark is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and an MBA.
DANA MALDET, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Dana Maldet is the Chief Financial Officer at Adelphoi.
Dana previously served as the Director of Revenue for Adelphoi. She also served as Payroll and Accounts Supervisor at Conemaugh Hospital and has more than 20 years of experience in payroll, finance, and accounting.
Dana earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master’s of Business Administration degree from Saint Francis University. She is also a Certified Public Accountant..
KARYN PRATT, VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING AND STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT
Karyn Pratt is Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Development at Adelphoi. Karyn oversees marketing expansion, strategic direction and fund development for FirstMatch.
Karyn began her career at Adelphoi in 1990 and has previously served as Community Relations Coordinator, Grant Writer, Development Supervisor, and Director of Marketing & Development. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Saint Vincent College and an MBA from Clarion University.
TODD WATKINS, CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER
Todd Watkins is Chief Information Officer at Adelphoi. He is responsible for leading and overseeing all matters related to information technology, information systems planning, and ensuring alignment of information systems for FirstMatch.
Before joining the organization, Todd was the Director of Information Technology at the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh. He also served as Vice President of Total Tech in Pittsburgh and Director of IT Operations and Security at Viejas Enterprises in San Diego, CA. Todd holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems from the Pennsylvania State University.
FirstMatch is a state of the art admissions software that uses predictive analytics to help decision makers select the right treatment program for a child, increasing likelihood of success.
FirstMatch was developed as a better way to recommend a treatment for a child in the child welfare, juvenile justice or behavioral health systems. By using data to make treatment decisions, youth spend less time cycling in an out of programs and more time with their families, leading to reduced trauma, and better outcomes.
Right now, youth are matched with a treatment program based upon a combination of factors such as cost, space in the program, proximity to home, past experiences, relationships with referral source, macro level outcomes, contract status, and anecdotal information.
When a child’s clinical information is entered into FirstMatch, the tool uses a service provider’s historical outcomes to recommend the best program for that particular child. Referral services and service providers use the data to make an informed choice.
Currently, 66% of youth in out-of-home placement have already been in one or more placements and 44% have been in two or more previous placements. It’s not uncommon for youth to be in 10 or more prior out-of-home placements, with the average being 4.4. In addition, 88% of these youth have been in one or more previous in-home programs.
This problem is not unique to youth in out-of-home placements. Right now, 64% of youth in in-home programs have been enrolled in at least on other in-home program.
Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence that allows software applications to become more accurate at predicting outcomes without being explicitly programmed to do so. Machine learning algorithms use historical data as input to predict new output values.
FirstMatch uses machine learning to compare specific predictive factors of a youth referral to the historical outcomes achieved by unique programs for other youth that presented with the same or similar predictive factors (and combinations of these various factors). The program then uses this data to recommend the most appropriate treatment program for the youth.
The tool increases its effectiveness by using an agency’s unique outputs and results to continuously learn what to look for in terms of patterns and trends that are undetectable by human analysis.
Once a youth’s data is entered into FirstMatch, the tool makes a program recommendation for the child. FirstMatch also produces a report that reveals the likelihood that a youth will achieve the desired outcome within a particular program, including recidivism, re-entry, remain-out-of-care and program completion rates, among others.
FirstMatch leads to improved outcomes for systems, organizations, and youth. So far, we have seen a decrease in negative incidents, higher program completion rates, and cost savings from youth being placed in fewer programs.
Through comparative graphs, the dashboard displays the tool’s predictions to actual outcomes, as well as referral source trends and referral status. The dashboard can be customizable to meet an agency’s specific needs.
FirstMatch offers many benefits to organizations. Agencies can have confidence that by using data to drive decisions, they are either accepting the right youth into their programs. When kids are in the right program for them, programs have less negative incidents associated with inappropriate placements, reduced staff turnover, and better outcomes for kids and families. The FirstMatch tool also provides a dashboard that allows for real-time admissions referral management.
Matching a youth to program based upon data means youth receive the help they need from one right program, rather than cycling through four or five wrong ones. Less cycling means less trauma, better outcomes, and more success for kids.
By using FirstMatch, systems can make a more informed decision for a child’s treatment, significantly increasing the chance of a successful outcome. This tool also provides another layer of quality assurance within agencies by helping to identify any changes in programming that may lead to a decrease in desired outcomes. FirstMatch also offers transparency with placing agencies in the acceptance and rejection of youth.
FirstMatch is HIPAA compliant and the data is considered to be Protected Health Information (PHI). Organization’s control access to their data through a cloud based server that they own.
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