Getting Started with Progress Monitoring


Are you excited to start using Progress Monitoring to help your clinicians provide better care?  Wonderful!  You could start receiving detailed reports within a week.

Here is what we need to do:

  1. Sign a contract:  The first step is to have Vista Research Group, Inc. sign a contract with your company which covers confidentiality, pricing, and our responsibilities to you.  The most important part of this contact is the Business Associate Agreement in which Vista agrees to comply with all HIPAA regulations protecting your patients’ sensitive health information.  The contract gives your company the right to cancel the research at any time for any reason with 30 days written notice.
     
  2. Arrange Payment:  Vista charges for the next month’s Progress Monitoring research on the first of each month.  We accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit cards.  Alternatively, we can set up an automatic EFT transfer from your bank account.
     
  3. Patient Permissions:  The treatment center needs to have each patient fill out a very short online questionnaire granting permission for Vista to collect sensitive health information and report it back to the patient’s counselor and treatment center managers while they’re in treatment.  For patients under the age of 18, the treatment center also needs to have one of the patient’s parents or guardians give their permission for the research.
     
  4. Intake Questionnaire:  Once the appropriate permissions have been received, the patient is asked to fill in an online Intake Questionnaire providing baseline information about their pre-treatment drug and alcohol usage, addiction severity, and quality of life.  This questionnaire also asks a few questions to screen the patient for signs of depression, anxiety, trauma and eating disorders.  Should the patient answer any of these screening questions positively, the questionnaire asks them more in-depth questions to develop a pre-treatment symptom severity scale.  Most patients are able to complete the Intake Questionnaire in less than 18 minutes.
     
  5. Progress Monitoring Questionnaires:  Patients are then asked to report how they’re feeling now.  Because this questionnaire is customized for each patient, the vast majority are able to complete it in less than 5 minutes.  The first Progress Monitoring questionnaire asks about how they’ve been feeling over the past 7 days or, if they’re new to treatment, since they arrived in treatment.  All later Progress Monitoring questionnaires ask how they’ve been feeling since they took the previous survey.  
     

Reporting:  Within 24 hours of the submission of each Progress Monitoring questionnaire, a detailed report will be sent to the patient’s counselor via encrypted email.  Summary reports showing the most recent data for all patients will be sent to the management of the treatment center each week.

Vista’s aim is to make data collection as easy as possible for our clients.  Since most residential treatment centers don’t allow their patients unsupervised access to laptops, cell phones or tablets, it will be up to the counselor or an administrative assistant to arrange for patients to take the online questionnaires.  An updated list of links for each patient will be sent to the appropriate person every evening when new questionnaires have been submitted.

For non-residential patients, Vista will email or text the link to the next questionnaire directly to the patient on whatever schedule the patient’s counselor requests.  For example, if the counselor meets with a patient every Tuesday afternoon and wants to see updated Progress Monitoring data every other week, Vista will ask the patient to take the next survey every other Monday afternoon.


Our early clients have been extremely pleased with the wealth of useful data they’re receiving about their patients.  If you’re considering moving forward with Progress Monitoring, please give me a call at 410-757-2811 or tell us a good time for us to call you.