New Version of Polaris’s Substance Abuse Assessment Platform to Support Motivational Interviewing

July 8, 2014 (Wayne, PA)- Polaris Health Directions is set to release an enhanced version of its cloud-based substance abuse treatment support system, Polaris CD.

The updated system reflects the latest research in addiction care and service delivery by supporting the evidence-based Motivational Interviewing (MI) technique and incorporating predictors of risk for a patient not engaging in treatment—a red flag for poor outcomes.

The Polaris CD platform is designed to improve patient outcomes, lead to a more efficient use of resources and reduce dropout and relapse rates. Recognized at the Addictions 2010 conference as the leading example of translating research into practice, the updated version of Polaris CD sets a new standard.

The enhancements will update the system’s clinical reports to include three new sections to support MI. They are:

Predictors of Risk for Non-Engagement

With a focus on obstacles to recovery, this section of the report includes a table of 17 risk factors for a patient not engaging in treatment. Those that counselors have identified as most useful to MI are listed first.

Motivation for Change

This section highlights patient reasons for seeking help, their treatment goals and indicators for their level of motivation, including the severity of the addiction, level of concern for each identified problem, confidence that treatment can help and the importance of treatment.

Readiness for Change

Here, the report shares patient responses to six statements that represent common barriers to engagement. Positive indicators reflect a patient’s readiness to change; negative indicators will notify counselors to the possibility of treatment dropout.

Additional system developments focus on real-time messaging to alert counselors to conditions that need immediate attention and should be documented in an electronic health record system. These include:

  1. Severe problems in the areas of family, employment or mental health
  2. A patient that is a danger to him or herself or others
  3. Severe symptoms of depression and anxiety
  4. A patient who has experienced family violence in the last 30 days, along with any signs of post-traumatic stress disorder.


Combined, these changes will position Polaris’s substance abuse treatment support system as the industry standard in addictions medicine.

Polaris CD was developed with funding from the National Institutes of Health, and in collaboration with the Treatment Research Institute. It incorporates the Addiction Severity Index, and is unique for its ability to predict the risk for relapse or dropout and to match patients to services based on identified need. For more information, send an email to