Innovation in Assessment Improves Substance Abuse Treatment Outcomes

Langhorne, PA (Jan. 25, 2010)– Polaris Health Directions, a leader in the development of science driven outcomes management assessment systems, has partnered with New Hope Foundation, a leading New Jersey-based addictions treatment provider, to enhance its Chemical Dependency assessment system, Polaris-CD. Polaris-CD collects and analyzes the clinical data essential to helping clinicians and treatment centers better match patients to the services they need to get well. It is a fully validated, evidence-based predictor of treatment outcomes. 

Through this collaboration, Polaris will add to its system two instruments developed at New Hope Foundation by its CEO, Dr. Tony Comerford. The HAID (How Am I Doing) and HAWD (How Are We Doing) are based upon the criteria of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and Therapeutic Alliance principles. The HAID and HAWD allow for the monitoring of a patient’s progress at each treatment session. The earlier a counselor is alerted to negative trends, the more empowered they are to take the actions necessary to avert dropout or other adverse outcomes. 

“These instruments are based upon well established principles and instruments in the addiction treatment field,” said Dr. Grant Grissom, CEO of Polaris. “As far as we know, this is the first time that the Addiction Severity Index has been joined with the criteria of the American Society of Addiction Medicine to form a practical, comprehensive, evidence-based clinical decision support system that guides the needs assessment, treatment planning, and monitoring of care for patients as they move toward successful recovery. In addition to its clinical utility, the system will provide for rigorous, severity adjusted, “apples-to-apples” comparisons of program outcomes in support of quality improvement.” 

The HAID and HAWD additions will complement the predictive models developed and validated by Polaris that will red flag for counselors those patients who are at risk for dropping out of or not responding to treatment. 

The New Hope Foundation has used the HAID and HAWD in routine treatment for more than a year. Dr. Comerford indicated that, “while our experience is not any form of clinical trial, it suggests that the use of the combined instruments and processes are driving our completed treatment rates well above those of other programs in the state.” When the integration is complete, the system will be easily incorporated into existing electronic medical records, and will work well with current treatment protocols. 

The instruments as separate components are available now, and Polaris is seeking select sites for their further development. 

For further information contact Polaris Health Directions (215.359.3901), or send an e-mail to Follow Polaris on Facebook.


About New Hope Foundation

New Hope Foundation is a non-profit corporation (501(c)(3)) dedicated to serving those most in need of treatment for alcoholism, drug addiction and compulsive gambling. We provide state of the art care under license by the state of New Jersey and with the ongoing accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). Private citizens, businesses and organizations, from both the private and public sector, help to support our mission to serve those in need with little ability to pay. We serve those with health insurance, and offer other options so our clients can afford to pay the reasonable fees we charge for high quality care. New Hope Foundation is one of New Jersey’s largest agencies and served more than 5,000 of those in need in the last year. Visit New Hope Foundation’s Web site.