In a field such as addiction treatment, where results can vary from counselor to counselor and treatment methods are particularly prone to being altered; ongoing outcomes monitoring is an important activity to ensure consistency and quality.
Canadian, Oklahoma (PRWEB) December 17, 2013
If an advertisement on the radio stated that a company’s healthcare product was the best on the market, would you buy that product without verifying their claim? Some people may, but most of us will ask to see statistics, referrals from trusted individuals—like doctors, some sort of evidence. A company can make any claim it wants; but how many monitor their results and can provide evidence of consistent results?
Choosing a drug and alcohol rehabilitation treatment facility should be no different from choosing a healthcare product—instead of simply listening to the facility’s self-promotion, one should look for reviews and statistics. Does the program address the many facets of addiction, the emotional and psychological problems that may have led to addiction or are causing it to continue? Is it designed to restore the physical health of each individual, including eliminating the drug residues from their body—accumulated drug residues have recently been shown linked to behavioral disorders. Do they help the individual learn how to re-integrate into society, and become a hardworking, happy citizen? You shouldn’t have to take their word for it; you should be able to find independent reviews from individuals who have participated in their treatment services, or consistent results statistics.
The best facilities are not only interested in helping former patients succeed, they also study their results. And the very best monitor results statistics to self-correct or improve and consistently achieve high results year in and year out.
Routinely Measuring Results After Clients Leave Treatment
In a field such as addiction treatment, where results can vary from counselor to counselor and treatment methods are particularly prone to being altered; ongoing outcomes monitoring is an important activity to ensure consistency and quality. But until now, asking programs to follow clients after they leave care to measure how well they do in life or remain drug free has not been considered workable.
Scientific studies are complex, expensive and require specially trained staff, for these reasons they are not done very often. And while rigorous studies are important, they describe results achieved under ideal circumstances where everything is tightly controlled. This does not always translate into equivalent results in the real world setting with different counselors and types of patients.
A study just published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment and Research demonstrates a simplified routine outcome monitoring system that can be broadly used to ensure that treatment provided is effective and reproducible, that treatment is high-quality and cost-effective, and that health service providers are responsible to maintain treatment delivery quality.
Narconon International, a drug rehabilitation treatment facility that oversees roughly one hundred thirty treatment facilities worldwide, collaborated with a team lead by Dr. Richard Lennox of Chestnut Health Systems to solve some of the main problems that treatment facilities encounter when trying to monitor outcomes. Difficulty tracking clients after discharge, very long and complicated screening procedures, and a lack of dedicated outcome monitoring staff were all solved during a four-year-long pilot outcomes monitoring project run at Narconon Arrowhead in Oklahoma. Aspects of client enrollment, case management and graduate follow-up systems already in place were used to develop a scientific method for routinely monitoring outcomes that is workable in all types of treatment facilities and beneficial to clients.
Results of Narconon Arrowhead Outcome Studies
In close collaboration with researchers, clinical staff at Narconon Arrowhead implemented the following changes to their program in order to improve post-treatment outcomes monitoring:
- A new enrollment form was created that collects multiple phone and email information from each client, as well as multiple phone numbers and email addresses for friends or relatives that can help confirm the program graduate’s results in the event that the graduate himself is unreachable.
- All contact information is verified and updated just prior to the student’s graduation and discharge.
- A written checklist organizes and lists out each step of the follow-up process for ease in understanding and following.
These improvements have resulted in a higher rate of post-treatment contact with program graduates, not only allows Narconon Arrowhead to better monitor outcomes and address and correct program deficiencies, but also allows them to help program graduates with any problems they may be encountering.
While there is no expectation that any one treatment facility is perfect in producing 100% results in 100% of their patients 100% of the time, a facility’s willingness and ability to undertake effective outcome monitoring can make the difference between a slightly and sometimes successful, never-changing program and a highly successful, evolving program that can address and meet the needs of its clients.
For more information on this procedure or the Narconon Arrowhead program call 800-468-6933 or visit http://www.narcononarrowhead.org.