E-News Update
February 2006

In This Issue

The Oklahoma State Pilot Project: Specialized Outpatient Services, Inc.
Oklahoma State Seal

This case report profiles a collaborative project between Specialized Outpatient Services, Inc. (SOS), an addiction treatment provider based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS), the Single Stage Agency (SSA) responsible for addiction treatment in the state of Oklahoma; and the Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment (NIATx). As part of the NIATx State Pilot Project to Improve Addiction Treatment, SOS and ODMHSAS employed process improvement methods taught by NIATx to significantly reduce the time it takes for patients to enter addiction treatment after a first request.

SOS was able to make a substantial improvement in average time from contact to treatment, which is presented in the chart below. In less than two months, average time from contact to treatment was reduced by 60%, from 29.9 days to 12 days. Meanwhile, ODMHSAS now believes it is better to spend money on patients to get them into treatment, before substance abuse leads to costly institutionalization in the mental health or criminal justice system. [READ MORE]

NIATx Presentations

  • February 22 - 23
    Resources for Recovery: State Practices that Expand Treatment Opportunities Moving from Knowledge to Practice: Effective Strategies for Purchasing and Implementing AOD Services.
    Phoenix, AZ

    For more information, contact Todd Molfenter at
  • March 16 - 18
    2006 American College of Mental Health Administration (ACMHA) Santa Fe Summit Cross-Systems Collaborations: Catalysts for Transforming Behavioral Health
    Eldorado Hotel, Santa Fe, NM

    For more information, contact Lynn Fahey at

Promising Practices in Levels of Care Transfers

As of July 2005, NIATx agencies that worked towards improving client transitions across levels of care have realized increased continuation between levels of care (e.g., residential to intensive outpatient), reduced timeliness (from discharge to first treatment at the next level). As a result, these agencies also experienced increased admissions to the next level of care and demonstrated beneficial impacts on the business case for process improvement .[READ MORE]


Getting Things Done!

Many process improvement projects drag on for months with no clear direction or outcome, wasting organizational resources and damaging group morale. They fail not because of lack of innovation or managerial support, but because of poor execution . The world of sports can teach us a lot about how to translate ideas into action and how to get things done. [READ MORE]

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