NAATP Releases Treatment Provider Outcomes Measurement Toolkit
NAATP is pleased to release this special issue of addictionLEADER containing the results of our three-year Outcomes Pilot Program (OPP). The OPP was a major undertaking wherein eight NAATP addiction treatment provider pilot sites participated in a rigorous and uniform outcomes measurement process. The program was designed to test a method and produce a standardized, uniform, and replicable methodology for outcomes tracking that NAATP treatment providers could implement. The project was a success and produced the Outcomes Measurement Toolkit: The Addiction Treatment Provider Guide to Standardized Outcomes Measurement that we present to you here.
This was new work, in terms of comprehensive outcomes measures (ranging from abstinence to other indicators of wellness), strict social science protocols, and the multi-site nature of the study. The OPP was a historically unique program conducted by independent researchers under the scrutiny of an Institutional Review Board (IRB), adhering to the requirements of human subject research in addition to the confidentiality protections of the National Institute of Health (NIH). While some Substance Use Disorder outcomes research has been conducted over the years, not all of it has been extensive, nor has it necessarily conformed to social science research protocols that ensure fidelity. The addiction treatment field, therefore, lacked the validated nationwide standard for treatment providers to collect data through common outcome measures that a healthcare system requires.
The purpose of the Outcomes Toolkit is to close the research gap with standardized data, tools, and processes, and to demonstrate the long-term impact of Substance Use Disorder services across providers. Through widespread use, we believe the Outcomes Toolkit will lead to common data collected across providers on participants, services, and outcomes that will support additional research, improve understanding of effective practices, and increase the ability to promote the value of treatment provider services.
The Outcomes Toolkit is grounded by the process and data from the pilot program. That information is contained in a second document, the Addiction Treatment Providers Outcomes Pilot Program Final Report, which you will find in this issue following the Toolkit. The data analysis represented in the Final Report demonstrates the protocols of the study and informs the Toolkit best practices.
NAATP is grateful to our members who dedicated their time and resources to this project as pilot sites. Our thanks, therefore, go out to: Ashley Addiction Treatment, Avenues Recovery, Caron Treatment Centers, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, New Directions for Women, Seabrook, Sundown M Ranch, and Tully Hill Chemical Dependency Treatment Center. We also thank our researchers at the OMNI Institute: Holen Hirsh, Ph.D., director of public and behavioral health; Natalie Wheeler, PhD, researcher; Katie Gelman, MPH, DrPH, vice president, public and behavioral health; and Jessica Swan, NAATP outcomes project manager. Finally, we are grateful for the foundational work on outcomes measures by Norman Hoffman, PhD, on which the study relied.
The objective, now, is implementation by our members, and that will take various forms depending on providers’ goals and capacity. Our association Guideline is that all our provider members dedicate themselves to an outcomes tracking objective that conforms to the parameters of the Toolkit. Outcomes tracking is, in fact, one of the new core competencies of treatment provider operation that will be stated in the NAATP Addiction Treatment Provider Guidebook, due out later this spring.
NAATP treatment providers interested in more information and in implementing the Toolkit at their centers may contact NAATP at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Outcomes Toolkit Implementation” or contact the OMNI Institute at email@example.com and refer to NAATP Outcomes Toolkit Implementation.