Addiction Treatment Agencies’ Use of Data: A Qualitative Assessment

  • Jennifer P. Wisdom
  • James H. Ford II
  • Randy A. Hayes
  • Eldon Edmundson
  • Kim Hoffman
  • Dennis McCarty
Regular Article


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.


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


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Copyright information

© National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer P. Wisdom
    • 1
  • James H. Ford II
    • 2
  • Randy A. Hayes
    • 3
  • Eldon Edmundson
    • 1
  • Kim Hoffman
    • 1
  • Dennis McCarty
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Public Health and Preventive MedicineOregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA
  2. 2.Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment National Program OfficeUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  3. 3.Quality Management & Health Information ManagementLemontUSA

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