The program that we are nominating for this award uses telehealth technology to expand and enhance substance abuse treatment for adolescents with substance abuse or co-occurring disorders (mental illness/substance abuse). Expansion and enhancement is accomplished via the use of either an Apple iPad/home-based PC/smartphone/office-based computer (adolescents) or a VoCare MyHealth Tablet (dually-disordered adults). These devices allow consumers to video-conference with a therapist for individual, group, and family therapy sessions, and with a case manager for linking and coordinating activities, and skills training.
Our program is innovative because we provide substance abuse treatment to adolescents via telehealth technology, effectively removing barriers such as transportation and proximity to the treatment site. Our telehealth system can be accessed via any number of devices, including smartphones, tablets, and PCs.
We have presented this program, including information on design and implementation, to our peer partners and to our provider network, InteCare, as a model that can be emulated, and as a solution that can address other behavioral health issues.
As with any program at Aspire, resources and supports are available through for the Adolescent Telehealth Substance Abuse program, including full technical support from Aspire's IT Deparment, and from Archeon, Aspire's electronic medical record vendor. We accept referrals into the program from one of the other Indianapolis metro-area community mental health centers, and from court systems in each of the countires in our four-county service area. An anticipated shortage of providers, particularly psychiatrists, will create an increased demand for telehealth services.
We have presented this program to our peer partners and our provider network, InteCare, as a model that can be replicated. We are also accepting referrals into the program from one of the other Indianapolis metro-area community mental health centers.
Success is determined using several factors. First, we look at how many consumers participate in the program. To date, this program has served more than 60 consumers. Second, we look at the success rate of those who have received/are receiving telehealth treatment. We determine success by utilizing our electronic medical record to determine successful completion of treatment plan objectives, and improvement in scores on the consumer’s Child and Adolescent Need and Strengths assessment (CANS). CANS is used by the State of Indiana as the communication tool for the functioning of individual clients, from treatment planning to statewide resource allocation, and is the basis of clinical outcome monitoring. To date, there is 25% improvement in the rate of abstinence at six months post-discharge when compared to the rate of abstinence at. Finally, we collect anecdotal evidence of programmatic success using consumer surveys, the results of which have been overwhelmingly positive.