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Addiction Treatment Agencies’ Use of Data: A Qualitative Assessment

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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.

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Acknowledgments

The Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment (NIATx) was supported through grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Evaluation activities were supported through awards from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (46876 and 50165), the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (through a subcontract from Northrop Grumman Corporation, PIC-STAR-SC-03-044), and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01 DA018282). National Program Office activities were supported through awards from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (48464), the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (through a subcontract from Northrop Grumman Corporation, PIC-STAR-SC-04-035).

Portions of this article were presented at Addictions Health Services Research conference, Santa Monica, CA, October, 2005. Mr. Hayes was Director of Quality Assurance at Sinnissippi Centers, Inc., in Dixon, IL, during authorship. The support and contributions of Elaine Cassidy, Luke Bergmann, Jose Valdez, Hsueh-Yi Lu, and Andy Quanbeck are appreciated. We are especially grateful for the participation and support from the 39 member agencies of NIATx.

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Correspondence to Jennifer P. Wisdom PhD, MPH.

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Wisdom, J.P., Ford II, J.H., Hayes, R.A. et al. Addiction Treatment Agencies’ Use of Data: A Qualitative Assessment. J Behav Health Serv Res 33, 394–407 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11414-006-9039-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11414-006-9039-x

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