The difference between success and failure has a human face and affects the lives of its clients in many ways. One must consider the impact the application of a program that does not meet the needs of its clients. There is not only a monetary effect on the lives of participants in the many programs offered by DSHS, there is also the behavioral side of the services provided to its clients. A failure in the mental health arena or the failure of a drug and alcohol treatment program that provides sobriety to its clients can have long-term impacts both on health issues.
All of these issues are compounded by the limited funds available to project managers. Program success can be best implemented by the application of interpreted data collected by the RDA. Summaries of RDA surveys and the Application of Research Below are listed some actual findings by RDA and the impact they have on both the client and DSHS programs. Some of these studies are beneficial in providing for the better management of both programs and funds.
Emergency Room Findings: Nine out of 10 aged and disabled clients who visited the emergency room 31 or more times in FY 2002 had a substance abuse disorder, a mental illness, or both. Clients who visit the emergency room frequently use large quantities of prescription narcotics, and few clients with substance abuse disorders receive treatment for these conditions. These findings related to prescription drug use, cost benefits, and medical diagnoses help clinicians to identify clients that require treatment and saves thousands of dollars in resources.
Treatment for Opiate Additions Reduces Health Care Costs: Two studies presenting cost benefits for persons treated for opiate addictions are available. The first examines health care benefits and reductions in arrests and conviction for persons participating in methadone treatment programs. The second looks at outcomes for opiate addicts who participate in non-methadone – or “drug free” – treatment. DSHS Client Survey 2003: This survey shows a dramatic improvement in the area of service coordination. The 2003 survey showed there was improvement on almost every measure of client satisfaction.
” In three areas – quality, helpfulness, and timeliness of assistance – the improvement over 2001 survey results was great enough to be statistically significant. The most dramatic improvements seen in 2003 were in the area of service coordination. The satisfaction with service coordination increased by 12 percentage points over the 2002 scores. In all three years, the client survey found high levels of overall satisfaction and some areas of concern. The survey was distinguished by unusually high cooperation rates (94%) and completion rates (72%). (DSHS 2004) In Conclusion.
By utilizing the proper application of research and statistics, researchers can assist human services directors and program managers use data to improve the quality of the programs they manage. The application of research and data analysis greatly benefits the clients who use social services and saves the program managers money that can best used in other programs. Today the public funds available to social service providers are limited; the difference between success and failure affects the lives of its clients in many ways. One must consider the impact of a program that does not meet the needs of its clients.
Refrences (L. Davis, personal interview, October 18, 2004) Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (2004), Welcome to the DSHS Budget. Retrieved October 16, 2004, from http://www1. dshs. wa. gov/budget/index. shtml Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (2004), RDA’s Mission. Retrieved October 16, 2004, from http://www1. dshs. wa. gov/RDA/mission. shtml Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (2004), RDA’s Latest News. Retrieved October 16, 2004, from http://www1. dshs. wa. gov/RDA/defalt. shtml.