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Health Services Research on Alcohol-Related Problems


Research projects are sought that will expand knowledge and improve delivery of alcohol treatment and prevention services. The research objectives include, but are not limited to, the effects of organizational structures and financing mechanisms on the availability, accessibility, utilization, delivery, content, quality, outcomes, and costs of alcohol treatment services. Objectives also include studying the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of alcohol prevention services in reducing the demand for health care services and improving the methodological tools useful for conducting health services research. Areas that may be of interest to small businesses include, but are not limited to:

A. Development and assessment of protocols to assist in the identification, recruitment, and selection of treatment personnel to enhance the matching of staff to program needs.

B. Development and assessment of computer software or other protocols to assist in the management of treatment delivery. Software should be useful for assessment, diagnosis, patient placement criteria, monitoring of services received, tracking patient progress, and billing.

C. Development and assessment of software to assist clinicians in scoring and assessment of score norms for commonly used assessment instruments. These packages should include protocols for guiding client feedback in a clinic or office-based setting.

D. Development and assessment of software or other protocols to assist treatment programs and service agencies in measuring, assessing, or otherwise documenting clinically relevant performance indicators or improvements in quality of service provision.

E. Development and assessment of protocols to facilitate the selection, implementation, adoption, and maintenance of evidence-based services consistent with target population need, staffing and program resources, and expected outcomes. These protocols should be flexible enough to work across a variety of settings and modalities.

F. Development and assessment of software or other protocols to facilitate the incorporation of screening and identification tools into routine usage in primary care, emergency, obstetric, mental health, and other health care settings. Research projects should facilitate both the provisions of brief interventions, medical management, effective referral to specialized alcohol treatment, and follow-up.

G. Development and assessment of software or other protocols for monitoring service costs of alcohol treatment services including core, ancillary, out-sourced services. These tools should provide a user-friendly system of monitoring costs that could be implemented without additional accounting expertise by the staff at a typical treatment setting. At the same time, such tools should be defensible as measures of the true opportunity costs of providing alcohol treatment services. Such software might be bundled with billing software.

Robert Huebner, Ph.D.



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