For Rhonda Olson at University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota, completing baseline testing for 50 new freshman football players each fall could be described as inconvenient, at best. With their previous platform, only one user could be logged in at a time, and only a SCAT was included. Rhonda would then go back though each athlete individually and add both BESS and VOMS tests. With three different testing sources, this also created three different locations of information for each athlete. Collectively, Rhonda knew this process “was not a practical use of her time”.
Since moving to Sway for baseline testing and post injury assessments, Rhonda tells us how efficient her system has become. She says when baseline testing the freshman football players, she utilizes a large auditorium on campus. The auditorium is spacious enough to have seats between athletes, giving them room to both sit during cognitive testing and stand during balance testing. All athletes complete testing on their personal cell phone, so the entire process is completed in less than 30 minutes.
Testing being done on the athlete’s cell phone also allows Rhonda to stay current with an athlete’s status post-injury. She says one of her favorite Sway features is the athlete’s ability to take an assessment from home. If the athlete sustains an injury leading into a weekend, Rhonda can keep the athlete home for needed rest, yet still have accurate information.
Rhonda also tells us how she has been able to take the information from the results of the post-injury assessments and design individualized rehab programs based on the current state of the athlete. After a rehab session, she can quickly re-assess to see the changes with the athlete. Rhonda says “research is showing us that we weren’t doing enough with testing and Sway is the cutting edge in moving forward for how we treat injuries”.
Initially, Olson was hesitant about moving to Sway because she didn’t want yet another expense added to the budget. However, Sway being comprehensive with testing and documentation allowed her to eliminate the need for other softwares, therefore that expense as well. Additionally, with Sway’s cost being all inclusive, paying only per athlete, not per test, it instantly made budgeting easier for Olson’s staff because they now know the exact amount of money needed each year.
Rhonda feels confident referring other athletic trainers to Sway because of the ease of the entire process. Baseline testing is smoother because “ the kids are more willing to complete the test because it keeps them engaged, leading to more accurate tests”. Rhonda also says the customer service of Sway has made the transition effortless. Anytime she’s had questions or needed help, customer service has always responded quickly. She tells a story of a time when she was post-injury assessing an athlete and she accidentally labeled the test as a“baseline” instead of as a “post-injury”. She reached out to a customer service representative for help and the test label was fixed immediately. The athlete then didn’t have to complete the entire assessment over again, and the valid baseline test wasn’t negated. The combination of the time saved with baseline testing and documenting, along with the leading innovation of the platform made the switch an easy decision for Olson.