The East and West Outpatient Team have been using the Inactive Status in IAWITS, an online infrastructure treatment services. Several patients have been added to the system when they have to do jail time, have medical issues, family issues, and other life events. Patients love this because it allows them to take care of other business they have going on in their lives. Their treatment is temporarily put on hold during this time and they are placed back into treatment without having to start the whole process over. Patients just call their primary counselor when their schedule allows them to get back into treatment. This is helping with the assessment wait time due to patients not having to be reassessed. It also assists with patient retention and engagement. Overall, it is geared toward encouraging patients to remain in treatment, while emphasizing the importance of taking care of their needs outside of treatment.
The West Outpatient Team has been using Feedback Informed Treatment (FIT) with all patients starting at the time of their assessment. FIT has its own process. This means patients get to tell the counselor their preferences and direct their treatment. We feel that one strength of this model is that it focuses on the alliance between the patient and counselor. The goal for the counselor is for the patient to feel respected, heard, and unjudged. The patient in involved in deciding their goals and topics for sessions. The patient picks the method and approach they want to use in their session. At the end of the session the patient will rate the strength of the alliance. The patient then gives the counselor feedback about how they could have met their needs better. Research says a strong alliance is a leading factor that assists patients with making positive progress. Research also states it doesn’t matter what type of therapy counselors offer patients (solution focused, motivational Interviewing, Narrative Therapy, etc.) It is the strength of the alliance that matters the most. This is another patient friendly approach we are taking!
The Iowa Department of Public Health Medical Assisted Treatment Grant has ended with a total of 62 patients who were admitted to it. It was a wonderful service we gave patients and will continue to give patients. ASAC has collaborated with Eastern Iowa Health Clinic, Unity Point, The Abbe Center, Doctor Meeker, and hospitals to make Naltrexone, Vivitrol and Suboxone available to patients. When ASAC started this grant, we only had one prescriber available to us, and now we have several! We also have education counselors, medical staff, officers, and community members of the necessity of Medication Assisted Treatment!