Is your organization ready for medication-assisted treatment? Use this NIATx tool to find out.

Submitted by: 06/02/2017 by Maureen Fitzgerald

Organizations need to consider internal and external issues as they prepare to launch a medication-assisted treatment program with buprenorphine, Suboxone®, or other FDA-approved medications for substance use disorders.

The Buprenorphine Readiness Assessment Tool, part of the NIATx Buprenorphine Implementation Toolkit, offers organizations a way to assess their readiness for medication-assisted treatment (MAT). The tool is based on the Organizational Change Manager (OCM) developed by Dr. Dave Gustafson.  The OCM has been validated across hundreds or organizations.

The Buprenorphine Readiness Assessment Tool includes elements of the NIATx approach, such as the need for executive support and the importance of involving staff from all levels of the organization.

The tool also stresses the importance of having an influential clinical champion for MAT. Clinical champions can present facts and data about MAT that reinforce its effectiveness in helping people achieve and maintain recovery. They can help their colleagues recognize the advantages of MAT when used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

·       A substance use disorder (SUD) counselor who endorses MAT can respond to peers’ questions and concerns about the medication and help them get comfortable with using it.

·       Similarly, physicians and other medical professionals who may be considering becoming MAT prescribers are likely to refer to a peer for information.

“As the SUD treatment field continues to move toward integration with other medical care, it will be important for physicians and other prescribers to be able to turn to a peer who is also a clinical champion for MAT,” says Todd Molfenter, Deputy Director of NIATx.

The Buprenorphine Implementation Tool features a simple scoring system that organizations can use to target areas for process improvement.

Have you used the Buprenorphine Readiness Assessment?  What were your results? To share your story with the NIATx E-news, send an email to

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