Patient Feedback: A Quality Improvement Study in Outpatient Settings
NIH-Funded Study of Quality Improvement in Substance Abuse Clinics
Quality improvement (Ql) methods are a cornerstone of business and healthcare management throughout the United States yet there have been few studies of Ql interventions in addiction treatment settings. Investigators at the University of Pennsylvania and New York University School of Medicine are testing the effectiveness of one Ql system - Patient Feedback (PF) - at increasing outpatient group therapy attendance and self-reported reductions in drug and alcohol use. The feasibility and acceptability of PF was established in a six-site study conducted within the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network.
Study Design and Rationale
In the current study, 32 community-based outpatient treatment programs in the New York and Philadelphia areas, involving approximately 250 clinicians, will be randomly assigned to PF, or usual clinic practices. In the PF condition, every week for 12 weeks clinic patients are invited to complete a 12-item, self-administered survey in which they rate therapeutic alliance and treatment satisfaction, and report past week substance use. These anonymous surveys are faxed by clinic staff to a University of Pennsylvania data center where a custom software application converts the surveys into feedback reports and posts them to a password protected website. Clinicians then access their caseload feedback reports and aggregated reports for the whole clinic; supervisors can only access the aggregated clinic reports. On a monthly basis staff meet as a team to review the feedback reports and develop Ql plans intended to yield improvements in select Ql indicators. Organizations may share their feedback reports with funding sources, regulatory agencies, policy makers, and other stakeholders. This centralized, semi-automated feedback system eases fulfillment of accreditation requirements and as such, reduces the cost of clinic operations.
Principal Investigator: Paul Crits-Christoph, PhD (NIDA funded)
This study is CLOSED to recruitment.
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