How to Create Quality Measures for Addiction Treatment that Improve Outcomes

From RTI International by Tami Mark

The article discusses the significance of quality measurement in combating the opioid epidemic, drawing a parallel between the tangible successes achieved through quality measures in physical health realms and the potential similar outcomes in the field of addiction treatment. Tailored and meaningful metrics can serve as indispensable tools for service providers, aiding in their quest to deliver effective and efficient solutions to those battling substance use disorders. 

This article sheds light on the importance of a systematic and data-driven approach to improving the quality of addiction treatment. It highlights the potential of quality measurement not only as a tool for enhancing treatment outcomes but also as a catalyst for change in the broader landscape of addiction management.

Here are our key takeaways from the article:

  1. Quality measures play a pivotal role in enhancing addiction treatment outcomes.
  2. The effectiveness of these measures is contingent on their relevance, actionability, and ease of collection.
  3. Data sources like insurance claims, provider and patient surveys, patient assessments, and electronic health data can be utilized to create meaningful quality measures.
  4. Ongoing work is required post-implementation of measures to ensure organizations act upon the insights derived and improve the quality of their treatment.
  5. Significant improvements like controlled blood pressure and reduced patient readmissions have been achieved through quality measures in different healthcare areas.
  6. The potential extrapolation of these successes to opioid use disorders could see thousands of lives saved and quality of life improved.
  7. The integral role of providers in the quality measurement process is emphasized, from vetting measures to receiving guidance on their improvement.
  8. Pitfalls to avoid in quality measurement include neglecting provider input, selecting too many measures, or failing to guide for improvement.
  9. States should develop a robust quality measurement foundation to guide and ensure progress in reducing the impact of the opioid epidemic.

How to Create Quality Measures for Addiction Treatment that Improve Outcomes

From RTI International by Tami Mark

"Individuals and family members searching for treatment have few ways to identify providers that are delivering effective treatment. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA's) National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 20% of adults with unmet need for substance use disorder (SUD) treatment said they did not get treatment because they did not know where to go for care."

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