E-News Update
March 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

Essential Team Behaviors

What are the building blocks of effective change teams? There are certain behaviors and traits that are necessary for any process improvement initative to succeed, such as mutual respect, good communication skills, and paying attention to the details. Fostering values such as honesty and fearlessness, as well as creating a culture of innovativeness and goal-orientedness make some change teams rise above the rest. [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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