For those of us working in addiction treatment, we have seen the dramatic transformations that occur when someone with a substance use disorder (SUD) gets the right kind of help.
Much research has been done on specific evidence-based practices, such as Medication-Assisted Treatment, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Twelve-Step Facilitation. We know the value of these approaches, but we have little evidence on treatment outcomes when these approaches are integrated into multidisciplinary, comprehensive systems of care. To evaluate this, we need basic information about the Patient, the Service provided, and the Outcome of treatment.
The FoRSE Addiction Treatment Outcomes Program
FoRSE has developed a database that allows individual SUD treatment centers to submit de-identified patient data on a set of prescribed demographic and outcomes measures. FoRSE is not a new app, portal, or other digital health tool and does not replace any other system used for data collection.
We offer a centralized Data Repository and Application Programming Interface (API), allowing data sharing from different technology systems, with the ability to provide confidential site-specific benchmarking reports on the aggregated data. Our interest is in the stories of recovery that are told in data, not in creating new tools and technologies. For providers who do not yet have a system in place to collect patient survey data, FoRSE can direct them to vendors that are already linked to our database.
What We Measure
Along with research advisors, we have identified a small number of data points and standardized tools that are brief and commonly used by providers. These measures cover a breadth of SUD recovery outcomes, can be used at multiple time points, and are sensitive to change.
By collecting this data, we are able to provide treatment programs with confidential reports comparing their patients’ outcomes with an aggregate from other programs. These reports can be used by providers to inform quality improvement and to demonstrate compliance with licensure, accreditation, and reimbursement standards.
As we progress with this collaborative work, we will be able to demonstrate the value of addiction treatment and examine differences in outcomes across levels and systems of care and across patient demographics. We will better understand how social determinants of health impact our patients, and how to structure interventions to help them build recovery capital. Ultimately, demonstration of treatment effectiveness can influence public opinion and public policy in order to reduce stigma and increase access to quality care.
Privacy and Security
The security and privacy of patient data are critical for FoRSE, which is why we collect and analyze only fully de-identified data. Data sharing is possible through an agreement between FoRSE and the provider that clearly articulates how the data are collected and used.
All items in the database are survey-based – these need to be loaded into the electronic medical record or other systems. Due to the variety of technologies and tools currently in use for data collection, we will work with each provider in determining the best way to connect.
There is no charge for provider participation in the Treatment Outcomes Program. Providers who integrate with the API we provide are eligible to receive annual outcomes reports, comparing their site’s outcome data with an aggregate from other similar treatment programs.
How to Participate
Addiction treatment providers may participate in the Treatment Outcomes Program through a collaborative relationship with FoRSE. Please complete the form below indicating your interest in participating. You may also contact Dr. Annie Peters, NAATP Director of Research and Education, directly for more information or with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Future of FoRSE
FoRSE Leadership has created a three-year Strategic Plan, which maps the road ahead for the Foundation in key areas including research, education, strategic partnerships, technology, resource development, and Foundation capacity.