NIATx 200 Learning Invitational and Celebration Session

Submitted by: 11/01/2009
Keywords: NIATx 200

NIATx 200 Learning Invitational and Celebration Session October 16, 2009 By Michael Ellis Massachusetts Change Leader - NIATx 200

During the NIATx 200 project, 43 Massachusetts treatment provider sites representing 39 unique organizations participated in one of four research arms. State leadership, including Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS) Director Michael Botticelli, has strongly supported the NIATx initiative and looks forward to continued integration of NIATx principles across the treatment continuum.

The Massachusetts NIATx 200 participants gathered on October 16, 2009 to both celebrate their success in the project and to continue to learning about process improvement. More than 50 people from some 20 treatment provider sites attended the daylong event held at the Beechwood Inn in Worcester. Many providers presented storyboards explaining one of the rapid-cycle change projects they had completed using NIATx principles. Providers reported a number of positive outcomes from their adoption of the NIATx model of process improvement, including improved access to treatment and a shorter time to treatment for clients seeking care. Agencies also showed gains in increasing clients' length of stay and in total number of admissions to treatment.

Lynn Madden, CEO of APT Associates, Inc. in New Haven, Connecticut was lead facilitator for the event. Participants exchanged ideas on sustainability strategies for NIATx 200 and considered future changes they could work on together in cross-agency work teams. Michael Ellis, Massachusetts NIATx 200 State Change Leader, passed out certificates to all programs in attendance, congratulating programs for using NIATx principles to facilitate recovery. Members of the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, in attendance included Karen Pressman, Planning and Development Unit Director, Frank Holt, Director of Adult Treatment and Regional Operations, and Ruth Jacobson-Hardy, Western Regional Manager and Outpatient Level of Care Coordinator.

The day's program provided information on mature Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles and encouraged agencies in their efforts to sustain the gains made in this project. Madden emphasized the business case, helping programs grow in awareness of the benefit of publicizing their gains and focusing on gains that translate to bottom line results. More clients served, for a longer time, for the same amount of money is a strong story. Attendees also worked in teams to develop "elevator speeches" and "one-pagers," both of which can concisely and quickly present agency gains and improvements to government officials, funders, or other important constituencies.

The Massachusetts addiction treatment community has strongly supported the NIATx 200 project and sustainability plans are in place for these programs to continue to use, spread, and deepen the principles of NIATx. More than 40 treatment professionals attended "Fundamentals of NIATx" training session on October 27. Future plans will include monthly collaborative calls, coaching calls, and enhanced efforts to encourage all treatment programs in Massachusetts to conduct walk-throughs as a foundation for learning process improvement skills. BSAS will continue to further integrate NIATx process improvement principles into state site visits, contracting, and in ongoing training programs.

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