The research is clear that clients who feel their needs are being met, stay engaged in treatment services. It is also true that a client who feels good about the services they are receiving, will have better outcomes. It matters a great deal that we know if our “customers” are satisfied. An operational Satisfaction Survey should be administered periodically and reviewed carefully to determine whether service or delivery modifications may need to be made. When all components of the evaluation process are conducted by an organization, whether accomplished internally or with the assistance of a consultant, important information is gained that can be shared with the organizations’ stakeholders.
We now know that report cards are now being used by third party payers to determine which providers they will elect to have serve their members. Surely it is far better to have provider’s initiate their own outcome evaluations for 3rd party payers, than to wait for outside entities such including government take on these responsibilities.
Wikipedia says it best, “Evaluation is the systematic, rigorous application of scientific methods to assess the design, implementation, or outcomes of a program. Evaluation is usually a resource-intense process, frequently requiring resources, such as evaluation expertise, labor, time and money.”
The ACG Addictions Group has developed Tx Plan+, which provides both an electronic health record system (EHR) and real-time program evaluation reporting. LEARN MORE ABOUT TX PLAN+…
Program evaluation is commonly the core of an internal Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) process within the operation. and consists of identifying key quality indicators through team consensus for which data will be collected and systematically monitored. Variables, or measures should include those aimed at Effectiveness, Efficiency, and Access. In selecting indicators, team members should ask themselves, “what do we believe are the most important variables in the provision of quality services”?
Some Questions the Management / Clinical Team should Consider:
1. The number of admissions, so are we meeting our census goals?
2. The number of clients completing all phases of the treatment program
3. What are the number of clients dropping out of treatment?
4. Demographic Variables; %males, % females, Marital Status of participants, Educational Levels, Income Levels, Ages Employment status, etc.
5. Average Length of Stay in the program
6. Average length of stay of our programs
7. Average length of stay of people dropping out of programming
8. % of patients accessing Case Management Services ie. Employment, Housing, Food, etc.
9. % of patients participating in specialty treatment modalities
Additional variables may be selected dependent upon the type of organization and services being provided.
Targets are often established for each quality indicator to provide thresholds in determining whether issues require corrective action. Data is collected quarterly and reviewed in administrative meeting or by the organizations,’ Continuous Quality Improvement Committee to determine areas that may need corrective actions or further study.
The Addictions Consulting Group’s expertise can assist organizations in conducting all of the components of evaluation process. The ACG group has developed an electronic survey instrument and processing system that can be used in many different clinical settings for this purpose.