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ERIC Number: EJ876427
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1045-1595
Process Improvement Education with Professionals in the Addiction Treatment Field
Pulvermacher, Alice
Adult Learning, v18 n1-2 p22-23 Win-Spr 2006
Continuing education is being provided to professionals in the addiction treatment field to help them develop skills in process improvement and better meet the needs and requests they encounter. Access and retention of individuals seeking addiction treatment have been two of the greatest challenges addiction treatment professionals face. Unfortunately, an estimated 23 million Americans are in need of treatment and many are motivated to become drug free, but when they contact an addiction treatment agency, they often face delays of several days or weeks before they are admitted. As a result, many people lose their motivation to show up for treatment by the time their scheduled intake appointment arrives. Thus, busy agencies have high rates of no-shows, which leads to low admission, empty beds (or places in day treatment), and dropouts. In 2003, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Federal Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) contracted with the College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to be a national program office to improve the delivery of addiction treatment in the United States, due to its prior success in using innovative approaches for organizational change within health and social service agencies. The goal of the Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment (NIATx) was to help agencies apply process improvement techniques to: (1) reduce wait time between a potential client's first request for service and actually receiving treatment; (2) reduce no-shows; (3) increase admissions; and (4) increase retention in care. NIATx developed and implemented several educational strategies to advance these goals: (1) a self-directed learning Web site with information about process improvement projects; (2) monthly expert facilitated group teleconferences; (3) coaching for agency-designated change agents; and (4) intensive collaborative learning workshops where agencies learn new strategies for process improvement. It was found that providing agencies with all of the educational resources led to significant improvement on all of the stated goals. However, providing all services was not practical for dissemination on a national level. In this article, the author shares her experience in using adult education principles on a national project to improve operations among drug and alcohol treatment agencies so they can better meet the needs of people who want to become drug-free.
American Association for Adult and Continuing Education. 10111 Martin Luther King Jr. Highway Suite 200C, Bowie, MD 20720. Tel: 301-459-6261; Fax: 301-459-6241; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States