Polaris, New Hope Foundation Develop Clinical Tool to Predict & Improve Engagement in Substance Abuse Treatment

Earlier identification of patients who are unlikely to engage in substance abuse treatment can help to improve rates of treatment completion and post-treatment recovery.

Langhorne, PA, April 20, 2013 --(PR.com)-- With funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Polaris Health Directions and the New Hope Foundation have designed the first clinical tool to predict and improve the rate of engagement for patients receiving treatment for substance abuse.

Patient engagement is critical to successful outcomes. Research shows that at least 50 percent of patients fail to engage in treatment for substance abuse, and drop out before completing their program. The development of a predictive model to identify patients at risk is a major advance in the field. Counselors can now be proactive in improving rates of treatment retention and patient recovery.

The predictive model was developed using Polaris assessments and treatment engagement data from more than 40,000 patients treated at New Hope and at Kaiser Permamente’s addiction medicine clinics in southern California.

Patients complete an assessment that collects information on addiction severity, family and social relationships, psychological functioning, medical history, employment and other factors predictive of risk for dropout and relapse. Based on the results, the system generates a counselor report that flags patients at high risk for non-engagement. The report also recommends treatment strategies, for example motivational interviewing or matching patients to services based on identified need, that help the counselor design a more effective course of patient care.

Through earlier identification of at-risk patients and better targeting of services, counselors can improve rates of treatment completion and post-treatment recovery. When patient recovery rates improve, the costs associated with relapse are also reduced.

The next phases of the project include designing and field-testing a motivational feedback report tailored specifically to a patient’s needs. The report will include personalized motivational messages targeted to a patient’s readiness for change. Research findings from the project will be the basis for a manual that will guide clinicians in choosing and implementing the evidence-based practices the clinical tool recommends.

For more information on this current project or the Polaris assessment system (http://www.polarishealth.com/polaris-cd-chemical-dependency/), please send an e-mail to moreinfo@polarishealth.com or visit: http://www.polarishealth.com.

The project described was supported by Award Number 1R43DA032180 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute on Drug Abuse or the National Institutes of Health.

About Polaris Health Directions

Polaris recognizes that organizations cannot manage what they do not measure. Many behavioral health care providers and payers may not be collecting and analyzing enough of the right data to answer basic questions about the cost-effectiveness of the care they offer. Polaris's advanced technology and science driven assessment systems are designed to capture the clinical data essential to quality improvement and enhanced organizational management. Polaris solutions provide advanced analytics to help organizations improve and demonstrate to their customers the value of their care. With a focus on prediction, Polaris solutions do more than describe clinical change. Polaris systems also indicate if treatment is likely to have a positive result. Helping organizations make better decisions in the present by anticipating the future will be the difference in reducing their costs while improving patient care. Follow Polaris on Facebook (@polarishealthdirections) and Twitter (@polarishd).

About New Hope Foundation

New Hope Foundation is a non-profit corporation (501(c)(3)) dedicated to serving those most in need of treatment for alcoholism, drug addiction and compulsive gambling. We provide state of the art care under license by the state of New Jersey and with the ongoing accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). Private citizens, businesses and organizations, from both the private and public sector, help to support our mission to serve those in need with little ability to pay. We serve those with health insurance, and offer other options so our clients can afford to pay the reasonable fees we charge for high quality care. New Hope Foundation is one of New Jersey's largest agencies. Visit New Hope Foundation's website (http://www.newhopefoundation.org/). Follow New Hope Foundation on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Hope-Foundation/212209978843331) and Twitter (@NewHopeFound).
Polaris Health Directions
Jesse Nankin