In a conversation between MAP Clinical Directors Kerby Stewart, M.D., and Tom Kimball, Ph. D., LMFT they discuss how outcomes data can improve recovery support.
Kerby: Well MAP is utilizing a number of innovative approaches to recovery promotion. I’m going to just focus on three right now. The first, I think, is the overall approach to recovery support which focuses on a strengths based approach; it focuses on empowerment; and it focuses on the delivery of data about progress to the individual in recovery which in and of itself is very reinforcing of that behavior. The second thing is more operational where MAP has developed a platform that’s underwritten by software that helps guide that process. At the same time it’s gathering data about the nature of changes that are occurring as a result of the progress being made, or regress if the individual is in relapse mode. Lastly, MAP has developed a telehealth approach, or an approach through utilizing telehealth which promotes recovery via the platform. So it makes MAP’s approach accessible to people all over the country.
Tom: Telehealth is crucial in this field for a number of reasons. First off, you have to understand that when people leave treatment they go all over the place. And so reaching them where they’re at becomes critical in offering recovery support. So through telehealth we can reach them all over the country, all over the world, wherever they are continuing their journey in life, continuing their journey in recovery. People in recovery as they move from treatment into their life are very busy, there’s a lot going on, and their schedules are widely varying. And so being able to reach them at convenient times for them instead of trying to access services at a convenient time for providers is incredibly important.
Tom: Outcomes data has a tremendous effect on our understanding of recovery. We know a whole lot about addiction, but we don’t know a whole lot about recovery and how people stay in recovery long-term. So outcomes data helps to not only inform recovery support and how we offer it, but it also has the potential to inform how we treat people from the beginning and how we might extend that treatment through recovery support. It also helps us understand what efforts are effective in providing treatment and recovery. And we may, as we go along and gather more data, be able to get more individualistic in the way we treat people and how we help people recover over the long time with more and more data.