NIATx was developed under the leadership of Dr. David Gustafson along with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, National Institute of Drug Abuse and others to improve treatment and recovery outcomes through process improvement. NIATx operates out of the Center for Health Enhancement System Studies at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, College of Engineering. ODADAS began working with NIATx in October 2006 when the Department was awarded a federal grant referred to as “Strengthening Treatment Access and Retention-State Implementation” (STAR-SI) to increase access and retention in treatment. Today, the Department continues to diffuse the NIATx model of process improvement with prevention agencies and programs.
Process improvement is defined by NIATx as a set of coordinated activities to continually improve the effectiveness and efficiency of organizations’ ability to meet their mission. Processes need to be planned and managed in order to get desired results since 85 percent of customer-related problems are process related -- not people problems, which is why process improvement is so important. The NIATx model allows for changes to be made and tested before adopting, adapting or abandoning the changes one change at a time. This process involves embedding a culture of quality with the organization, knowing and understanding its customers, taking a group approach for problem solving with executive leadership support and using data for decision making.
Why NIATx? When the focus is on cost, costs will go up. When the focus is on quality, costs will go down. NIATx is a quick, simple and almost costless way to focus on quality through process improvement. Using the five key principles of NIATx, efficiency, effectiveness, outcomes, customer satisfaction, staff morale, productivity and staff retention, organizational climate and the financial bottom line can all be improved by making small, incremental changes over time using existing resources at little or no cost.
Treatment Goal and AIMS
To increase access and retention
> Reduce waiting times
> Reduce no-shows
> Increase admissions
> Increase continuation
Access and Retention Treatment Measures
Program Measures: (aggregate data)
> Number of admissions* per month
> Average number of units of service** within 30 days of admission
Process Improvement Measures: (client data)
> Time from 1st contact to admission
> Time from admission to 1st clinical encounter
> Time from the 1st to 2nd clinical encounter
> Number of clients who request services and receive an assessment
> Number of clients who receive an assessment and are “admitted”***
> Number of clients who proceed from admission to succeeding units of service, i.e. 4 sessions within 30 days of admission
*Admission = first date of an assessment
**Units of service = based on the number of days clients received a clinical service (does not include assessment or case management. NOTE: Multiple services on the same day are counted as one day.
***”Admitted” = 1st clinical encounter (does not include assessment or case management)
Prevention Goal and AIMS
To increase efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability
> Increase capacity for services and programming
> Increase the use of evidence-based policies, programs, practices and strategies
> Increase performance management
> Increase staff retention
Click here to link to “The NIATx Way”
Click here to link to the NIATx Five Key Principles