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Performance measurement for systems treating alcohol and drug use disorders

Widespread skepticism about treatment for alcohol and drug use disorders demands that counselors and treatment centers document the quality and effectiveness of care. One response is to argue, debate the merit of treatment services, and resist change. A more effective response is to see opportunities for constructing state-of-the-art performance measurement systems that facilitate program management and generate evidence of service quality and effectiveness. Agencies and systems investing in performance measurement systems are leading system change, and their leaders are converting challenges to opportunities.</P>Two articles in this issue of the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment illustrate information system strategies and provide examples of innovative performance measures and outcomes monitoring systems. The articles offer different perspectives on building and using performance measurement systems. The analyses test the Washington Circle measures initially developed to monitor health plan performance ( Garnick et al., 2002; McCorry, Garnick, Bartlett, Cotter, & Chalk, 2000 ): (1) identification (percentage of patients with a diagnosis of substance use disorder); (2) initiation (percentage of patients with an index outpatient service and one more service within 14 days); and (3) engagement (percentage of patients with an index service and two or more additional services within 30 days).</P>Harris, Humphreys, and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment Elsevier
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