2017: NIATx Year in Review

Submitted by: 12/01/2017 by Maureen Fitzgerald

Todd Molfenter
Deputy Director, NIATx
Director, Great Lakes ATTC

2017 has been an exciting and busy year for NIATx. We’ve continued our process improvement, technical assistance, and research work, launched new projects, and we’re honored to be awarded a new grant from SAMHSA to serve as the Great Lakes Addiction Technology Transfer Center.

Medication-assisted Treatment

In the NIATx Opioid Medication-assisted Treatment Expansion Project, funded by NIDA, we’re working with payers and providers in Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin to increase use of the FDA-approved medications for opioid use disorder (OUD). We’re evaluating a set of strategies that were used to increase the number of prescribers in an earlier project.

Can having a coach help organizations make measureable change in outcomes? Can the use of the Prescriber Recruitment Bundle enhance the workforce and increase the use of OUD pharmacotherapy? Some of the study sites in this project will have support from expert coaches; others will not. We’ll compare the two groups to find out.

Buprenorphine Implementation Toolkit: In spring 2017, we launched the NIATx Buprenorphine Implementation Toolkit. This new section of the website resulted from our Ohio Buprenorphine Implementation Project, which yielded lots of great information on barriers to use of buprenorphine and other SUD medications, and how to overcome them.

The toolkit features information, links to other resources, a searchable library of news and research articles, forms you can download, and a series of brief videos. This site will be updated regularly, and we hope that you will use it and find it helpful in your work.  Feedback welcome!

Technology Tools for SUD Treatment

In 2017, we wrapped up the Provider Readiness for Technology Implementation project, funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). In this project, we analyzed technology implementation trends in eight states, looking specifically at the application of telemedicine and telephone-based counseling. We learned that there is a lot of interest in technology tools for treatment, but not a lot of capacity. We also found that we are on the front end of a trend that is probably going to transform the field: the use of technology to assist in treatment and recovery.

This work dovetailed well with the other work that our Center is doing with A-CHESS. A-CHESS  made great gains in 2017: it was applied in primary care and used with substances other than alcohol. Some of the lessons that we learned in the eight-state AHRQ project will be applied to improve use of A-CHESS and other technologies.

New work with Dental Clinics

2017 marks the start of NIATx work in dental clinics. We’re working on a NIATx no-show pilot project with five dental clinics in the greater Milwaukee area. We’re excited about launching this new area of work and what we’ll discover along the way. Stay tuned!

Becoming the Great Lakes ATTC  

Receiving the SAMHSA award to direct the Great Lakes ATTC brought together a lot of the work that we’ve been doing for the past 14 years: providing technical assistance and training and conducting research on how to implement evidence-based practices to support the SUD treatment and recovery services fields. We look forward to working with providers in Region 5 (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, and WI) and beyond to expand SUD treatment capacity and the quality and services of care.    

As 2017 comes to a close, all the staff of NIATx, the Great Lakes ATTC, and the Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies send our best wishes for the holidays and the new year to come.

  • All Stories