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Polaris Collaborates with New Hope Foundation in Phase I Grant to Improve Patient Engagement in Addiction Treatment

Marlboro, NJ (August 6, 2012)– With new funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Polaris Health Directions, in partnership with the New Hope Foundation, is now preparing to refine its chemical dependency outcomes management system, Polaris-CD, to predict and improve engagement rates in treatment. Client engagement is integral to positive treatment outcomes. Polaris Health Directions has been at the forefront of developing technology to improve substance abuse treatment outcomes for more than a decade and experts on Motivational Enhancement Therapy from Yale University are also collaborating on the project.

The first phase of this project will involve three enhancements to the existing Polaris-CD. Using data from more than 2,000 patients treated at New Hope and at Kaiser Permanente, in southern California, the research team will derive a predictive model to indicate whether a patient is likely to engage in treatment. This model will help counselors identify early those patients who are at highest risk for treatment failure.

Additionally, the team will develop and field test a motivational, personalized feedback report for patients. This report will include information on the severity of the patient’s drug or alcohol use (as compared to other patients in chemical depedendency treatment); the importance of the recommended services matched to a patient’s particular set of needs; and motivational messages that are tailored to the patient’s readiness for change and other risk factors.

The third modification to Polaris-CD is the addition of a guide for implementing into routine treatment two evidence-based practices: matching patients directly to services (not programs) and motivational enhancement therapy. While research has demonstrated that these practices are effective in improving outcomes, barriers to implementation have hindered widespread adoption. The enhanced Polaris-CD, with its Web-based platform and strong scientific foundation, will be the much needed link between research and practice.

Polaris-CD is a HIPAA-compliant, EHR-compatible solution that helps treatment providers identify which services are most cost-effective for a particular patient, determine whether treatment is working and if there is a high risk for dropout for relapse. Its development was funded by NIDA, and it is currently in use at chemical dependency treatment programs around the nation.

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The project described was supported by Award Number 1R43DA032180 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute on Drug Abuse or the National Institutes of Health.

About Polaris Health Directions

At Polaris, we recognize that organizations cannot manage what they do not measure. Many behavioral health care providers and payers may not be collecting and analyzing enough of the right data to answer basic questions about the cost-effectiveness of the care they offer. Polaris’s advanced technology and science driven assessment systems are designed to capture the clinical data essential to quality improvement and enhanced organizational management. Polaris solutions provide advanced analytics to help you improve and demonstrate to your customers the value of your care. With a focus on prediction, Polaris solutions do more than describe clinical change. Our systems also indicate if treatment is likely to have a positive result. Helping you make better decisions in the present by anticipating the future will be the difference in reducing your costs while improving patient care.

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