ACTION campaign recruits more than 450 treatment agencies

Submitted by: 12/12/2007

Since its launch in October 2007, the ACTION Campaign affiliated with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and other national groups has already recruited more than 450 agencies to implement one of several simple changes in addiction treatment operations.

The ACTION Campaign — short for Adopting Changes To Improve Outcomes Now — promotes the national adoption of proven practices for enhancing client access to care and their overall engagement in treatment. The campaign focuses on the adoption of one of three goals:

  • Rapid access to treatment;
  • Increased engagement by those who are in treatment; and
  • A seamless transition from one stage of care to another.

Agencies that have already made the changes recommended by the campaign have experienced significant improvement in client satisfaction, staff retention, and financial stability.

The ACTION Campaign is an unprecedented, cross-sector partnership among non-government organizations, foundations and government agencies. Partners include the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, the Legal ACTION Center, the Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment (NIATx), the National Council on Community Behavioral Healthcare (NCCBH), and the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors — aims to enlist 500 agencies nationwide over an 18-month period.

Previous research completed by NIATx, based at UW-Madison, suggests that one small improvement in each of the 500 agencies is expected to make a difference in the lives of 55,000 people affected by substance abuse.

"My members are extremely interested in identifying tools that will improve their business practice models," says NCCBH president and CEO Linda Rosenberg. "The ACTION Campaign offers a simple, streamlined way of utilizing process improvement techniques to meet specific goals that are universal in behavioral health: getting people into treatment and keeping them there long enough to have an impact. We are delighted to be a campaign partner."

"The campaign offers an easy way for us to learn process improvement," says campaign participant Dave Mack, program supervisor for the Teresa McGovern Center in Madison. His team is getting ready to launch its first change project to provide rapid access to services.

"We are pleased to have met our enrollment goals so quickly, but we aren't ready to rest on our laurels yet," says Kim Johnson, ACTION Campaign director. "We want to continue to enroll new participants."

ACTION will launch a blog and Web discussion groups this week and will be doing a webinar for NCCBH on Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 2 p.m.. It will also offer a conference call for people to learn more about the campaign on Friday, Jan. 11, 2008, at 1 p.m. (Dial (877) 326-0011, meeting number: *6185935*.) 

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