Commentary: Changing Your Personal Narrative in Recovery
It’s a common misconception among those entering treatment that their goal is to stop drinking or using. However, ending your substance use is the beginning of a much longer journey.
The Adopting Changes to Improve Outcomes Now (ACTION) Campaign has successfully met its goal to enroll 1000 substance abuse treatment providers, announced Campaign Director Kim Johnson.
The ACTION Campaign promotes the national adoption of proven practices for enhancing client access to care and their overall engagement in treatment. The Campaign focuses on one of three ACTIONS: 1) Rapid access to treatment, 2) Increased engagement by those who are in treatment, and 3) A seamless transition from one stage of care to another. Agencies that have already made the changes recommended by the campaign have experienced significant improvement in client satisfaction, staff retention, and financial stability.
“When we began planning for the ACTION Campaign in October 2007, we could not have predicted how successful it would be,” says Johnson. The ACTION Campaign met its original goal to recruit 500 agencies over an 18- month period in the first four months of the project. “We set a new target to reach 1000 providers, and I am pleased that we’ve met that goal as well.”
While the Campaign officially ended on March 31, 2009, organizations continue to sign up, adds Johnson.
Johnson attributes the success of the Campaign to the support of partner organizations that helped increase awareness and build excitement for this national movement to improve access to and retention in treatment.
Becky Vaughn, Executive Director of SAAS, adds that the ACTION Campaign has proven to be an effective way to share process improvement techniques with substance abuse treatment organizations. “The ACTION Campaign online tools, tutorial calls and webinars have provided process improvement tools to behavioral health providers that are eager to find ways to improve service delivery, retain staff, and reduce costs.”
Vera Sansone, Senior Vice President of Outpatient Services at CPC Behavioral Healthcare in the greater New York City area says, “The ACTION Campaign is one of the best things we’ve done to improve our services.” The online tools and tutorial calls encouraged Sansone and her staff to try the recommended changes. One of those changes is open access, or walk-in appointments.
“As a result of implementing walk-in appointments, we have seen an increase in admissions and our no-shows dropped from 40 percent to 12 percent,” says Sansone. “And we have seen a difference in our bottom line, as well.”
ACTION Campaign II: Financial Strength in a Changing World will launch at the 2009 NIATx Summit/SAAS Conference (July 29-August 1). ACTION II will focus on helping organizations reduce costs, improve services, and increase revenue. ACTION II will feature a new tool kit and will again offer the tutorials and webinars that were so popular in the first campaign. All the Campaign materials will be free to all new and existing participants.