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J Psychoactive Drugs. 2010 Sep;Suppl 6:261-8.

Performance improvement in addiction treatment: efforts in California.

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  • 1Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90025, USA.


This article examines performance data improvement efforts among alcohol and other drug (AOD) county and program stakeholders within California's publicly-funded treatment system. County AOD system administrators from approximately two-thirds of California counties (N=37) and a random sample of treatment program managers (N=63) were surveyed about practices and priorities related to using performance data to improve service delivery. Survey results showed that over half (56.8%) of the county administrators reported using performance and/or outcome measures to guide decision-making about the treatment programs with which they contract. Measures of treatment engagement and retention were most frequently reported as high priorities for performance data collection. Treatment providers reported considerable variation with their use of performance measures to improve practices. Overall, findings from this study suggest that many programs and counties are taking steps toward adopting practices of performance measurement and management for treatment improvement, although they still require assistance and support in establishing, collecting, and using performance data.

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