Regular Article

The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 394-407

Addiction Treatment Agencies’ Use of Data: A Qualitative Assessment

  • Jennifer P. WisdomAffiliated withDepartment of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University Email author 
  • , James H. Ford IIAffiliated withNetwork for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment National Program Office, University of Wisconsin
  • , Randy A. HayesAffiliated withQuality Management & Health Information Management
  • , Eldon EdmundsonAffiliated withDepartment of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University
  • , Kim HoffmanAffiliated withDepartment of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University
  • , Dennis McCartyAffiliated withDepartment of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University

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Abstract

Addiction treatment agencies typically do not prioritize data collection, management, and analysis, and these agencies may have barriers to integrating data in agency quality improvement. This article describes qualitative findings from an intervention designed to teach 23 addiction treatment agencies how to make data-driven decisions to improve client access to and retention in care. Agencies demonstrated success adopting process improvement and data-driven strategies to make improvements in care. Barriers to adding a process improvement and data-driven focus to care included a lack of a data-based decision making culture, lack of expertise and other resources, treatment system complexity, and resistance. Factors related to the successful adoption of process-focused data include agency leadership valuing data and providing resources, staff training on data collection and use, sharing of change results, and success in making data-driven decisions.

Keywords

information services substance abuse treatment centers quality of health care health services needs and demand