As the treatment industry continues to grow and evolve, program efficacy borne out through reliable outcome measures becomes increasingly critical. There are passionate treatment providers and brilliant innovators working to create programs and interventions that will help more people. Conferences such as NAATP showcase programs such as these. This year, the buzz at the conference has been about predatory marketing practices, and the inability of the public to determine which providers are ethical and providing treatment based in best practice.
Origins has been collecting outcomes data for nearly four years now – please join with us. As I said in my earlier blog, as treatment professionals standing on the firing line of addiction, it should be our goal to collect data in order to inform practices which support permanent sobriety. Outcomes data is not a marketing strategy – it is the mechanism through which we assess the extent to which a program is achieving its intended results. Outcomes inform practice – and practice then informs outcomes. Done right, this process is perpetual. To borrow a quote from Vince Lombardi, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.”
Please join with us. As you pursue data collection, please keep the following in mind:
- We believe strongly that outcomes need to be collected during treatment and post-treatment – and there are certain metrics that correlate with sobriety that can only be collected post-treatment, for example going back to school or getting a job.
- We find the greatest accuracy when the outcome data is captured as close to the source as possible, including direct data capture from patients themselves and from their families.
- Finally, for the greatest accuracy and controls, we feel that data should always be collected by a third party. At the very least, this removes any question of biased data.
During yesterday’s conference when Bob Ferguson did his presentation, the focus was squarely on the ethics of marketing and lines that are routinely being crossed. Outcomes will help us to level this playing field that right now is being exploited through predatory practices. Please join with us. As Dr. Jeff Ball so aptly pointed out, “Collecting anecdotal and hard outcome data is important both to measure treatment effectiveness validating our various treatment methods and toward improving overall programs.”