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J Psychoactive Drugs. 2004 May;Suppl 2:109-14.

Pilot-testing a statewide outcome monitoring system: overview of the California Treatment Outcome Project (CALTOP).

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  • 1UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, Los Angeles, California 90025, USA.


Timely information provided by an effective outcome monitoring system (OMS) is key to making improvements in treatment program effectiveness, service provision, and client outcomes. The California Treatment Outcome Project (CalTOP) developed and pilot-tested an automated outcome monitoring system for California's alcohol and other drug (AOD) system of care. CalTOP was designed to track client movement through treatment programs, measure standardized assessment of client service needs, record service utilization, assess treatment outcomes and client satisfaction, and determine the extent to which treatment produces cost-offsets in other health and social service systems. Information collected by CalTOP revealed that client problem severity at admission was high, services needed were diverse, and treatment services were generally not well matched to the level of problem severity or needs of clients. Also, client retention and length of stay in treatment were generally insufficient to maximize the potential benefits associated with treatment. This article presents the type of information on client demographics and treatment retention that was provided by CalTOP and outlines recommendations for implementing an AOD outcome monitoring system statewide.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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