Establishing A Culture Of Data Driven Decisions: A Free Webinar, Hosted By OutcomeTools

Updated: Jul 16, 2020

Watch webinar to learn how to integrate data gathering

into your business operations!

Topic: Establishing a culture of data driven decisions

Description: Derek Daley, founder of Legacy Outdoor Adventure and Juniper Canyon Recovery Center for Women, has successfully been gathering outcomes data for his programs for over eight years. He will share his expertise on how he has used data gathered to provide high quality care.

Within his programs, Derek has established a culture of making data driven decisions and will provide examples for treatment programs to follow.

Webinar Recorded: Mar 31, 2020 10:00 AM in Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Click Here To Watch The Webinar:

What is Data Informed Treatment?

Actively using data in decision making, data collection is incorporated as part of weekly progress monitoring and utilized to inform individual treatment as well as providing feedback for program and individual effectiveness.

Client informed treatment- Client

A conceptual basis is proposed for routine outcome assessment-the ongoing measurement and use of outcome data to inform decisions about whether to continue, change or curtail treatment.

Data leads to question, question turns into information, Information leads to decisions.

Program data informed treatment:

Once a data collection culture is established, how does it impact programming?

  1. Went from Intake, 5 week, discharge to weekly monitoring

  2. Creating team and client investment in the data tracking process.

  3. Incorporated outcomes into family work and workshop

  4. Established critical measures monitoring to notify therapists in real time

  5. Share outcomes during treatment meetings for treatment planning and supervision

  6. Dedicated research coordinator. Builds relationship and trust with clients and team.

  7. Owners and managers are invested and engaged; including supervising, monitoring and adjusting data tracking practices.

Why programs are implementing data?

  • Mandated - Joint Commission accreditation standard, payers

  • Fear of missing out or being left behind

  • Marketing

  • Improving outcomes


“The Joint Commission standard CTS 03.01.09 requires behavioral health organizations to assess outcomes for the individuals they serve through the use of standardized tool or instrument.”

As of Jan. 1, 2018, the Joint Commission also now requires behavioral healthcare centers seeking accreditation to conduct outcomes assessments through the “use of a standardized tool or instrument.”

**Get on board before you are left behind **You will get better as you measure - it is a process. **Therapists are bad at giving an accurate assessment of where their clients are at.

Fear of missing out or being left behind

Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare -“The Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council is a community of leading outdoor behavioral healthcare programs working to advance the field through best practices, effective treatment, and evidence-based research.” National Association of Therapeutic Programs - “RDP programs will be given a special page on the NATSAP website and in the NATSAP Directory. They will also be able to include the term “RESEARCH DESIGNATED PROGRAM” and add the research designation logo (to be designed) in their marketing” National Association of Addiction Treatment Programs - “Through widespread use, we believe the Outcomes Toolkit will lead to common data collected across providers on participants, services, and outcomes that will support additional research, improve understanding of effective practices, and increase the ability to promote the value of treatment provider services.”


Outcomes tracking isn't just for improving client outcomes. It can also be great information for interested clients, families and potential referral sources.

Outcomes metrics can fall into three categories:

  1. Clinical

  2. Operational

  3. Service

* When using outcomes data for marketing care quality, it is good to start with target population in mind, so you can focus on sharing what outcomes are most meaningful to that audience.

In this video we are sharing with potential clients, families and referral sources about our Feedback Informed Treatment and Client Outcomes.

*Advertising campaigns that highlight positive clinical outcomes and educate families and professionals through the interpretation of the metrics can build your program’s brand and reputation.

Additionally, adding quotations or testimonials directly citing client success can help draw new clients into your program- click this link for example of testimonials.

Marketing Outcomes Data:

1. Strengthen existing referral relationships: Sharing outcomes with professionals can turn an informal referral relationship into a long-term working relationship. By establishing methods for tracking long-term client outcomes and sharing positive and constructive outcomes with professionals you work with, solidifies the trust in care quality and reinforces a continued referral relationship.

2. Enhance marketing efforts to potential referrers: Outcomes tracking doesn’t just help strengthen current professional referral relationships; it also helps build new referral streams. You can leverage meaningful client outcomes to market your care quality to practitioners and professionals who may not have existing relationships with your program. Additionally operational and program outcomes, such as staff retention and low turnover rate, can also help sway potential referrers in your direction.

3. Tap into client and family interest: With clients often shopping around for care that meets their financial, quality, and experience preferences, programs that track outcomes and share their data has become a critical advantage.

Improving outcomes

Improving outcomes is achievable and vital to program survival.

8 factors for how utilizing the client data improves outcomes:

  1. Identifies risk factors in clients and intervene.

  2. Provides a more complete picture of clients and informs treatment decisions.

  3. Increases engagement by interacting with clients on an ongoing basis.

  4. Supports clients in choosing a healthy lifestyle and managing their health.

  5. Promotes more well-informed diagnoses.

  6. Supports optimal treatment planning.

  7. Enhances continuity of care following discharge.

  8. Supports your patients after discharge.

Why programs are implementing data?

1. The healthcare world is already measuring outcomes and using them in treatment. 2. Addiction treatment and behavioral health are far behind. However, trends in behavioral healthcare indicate a move toward value-based care. 3. Mandates from accreditation bodies and payers are requiring programs to move in this direction. They need to get on board with measuring and informed data collection, or they will get left behind.

"Make no mistake about it, sooner or later we will be legislated into requiring accreditation. In fact, with the Family First Act all programs taking public dollars are now required to be nationally accredited. Why not act now and get the credit for raising our hands and volunteering to have someone hold us to a higher standard?” -NATSAP Press February 2020 Issue


  • Too expensive

  • Fear - what will the data reveal?

  • Measuring is not needed

  • Ego

  • Time - too busy, too much work

  • What’s in it for me or my program?


1. Instead of focusing only on short-term cost, emphasis can be directed towards evaluating the long-term impact of treatment that will prove worthwhile not only for patients, but for future clients.

2. Investing in research can be viewed as an investment to improve client health, and not as an expense.

3. With increasing health care cost, it is likely that in the near future healthcare will shift focus from a pay for service to a value-for-money health care system.


What will the data reveal? Afraid to track research because they are skeptical of what it might show or tell.

People want to use research to lean on to say see we are good and then be done.

Quote from a recent conference after the release of the Outcomes Toolkit:

“We did our six month study and it proved everything we already knew about our program. We have great success with our clients.”

*If you are measuring at regular intervals and not making treatment adjustments or program adjustments you are just leaning on the research.

“He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts, for support rather than illumination” -Andrew Long

Measuring is not needed

The most recent research shows clients whose therapists use FIT (feedback informed treatment) on an ongoing basis are 2.5 times more likely to experience benefit from treatment.

Which of the following reasons likely create this benefit?

  1. Measures to monitor their performance

  2. Feedback helps clinicians select the most effective treatment methods

  3. FIT enhances the therapeutic relationship

The answer is often a surprise- 3. Feedback Informed Treatment enhances the therapeutic relationship. Why is this? Seeking to understand and working together increases honesty and builds relationships. So when we pull back the curtain with the client and share the purpose of the measure and use it to align with them, it strengthens the relationship.

Which of the following reasons likely create this benefit?

  1. Measures to monitor their performance.

  2. Feedback helps clinicians select the most effective treatment methods

  3. FIT enhances the therapeutic relationship

  4. The answer is a surprising to many,

Feedback Informed Treatment enhances the therapeutic relationship.


"If you are not humble, the world will visit humility upon you.”- Mike Tyson.

  1. It’s easy as business leaders (and clinicians) to become resistant to feedback, as we often overestimate our abilities.

  2. To effectively counterbalance our own ego having established and routine feedback and assessment at every level is the best approach.

Time - too busy, too much work

On average, clinicians spend 30% of their day doing paperwork.

What’s more, research shows that a high documentation to clinical service ratio leads to higher rates of:

  1. Burnout and job dissatisfaction among clinical staff

  2. Disengagement in therapeutic process

  3. Reduced trust and missed sessions

What practice not only ensures accountability but simultaneously improves the quality and outcome of behavioral health services?

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the answer is one evidence-based strategy:

*To routinely and formally seeking feedback from consumers about how they are treated and their progress.

Establishing a culture of data collection

"The first step in improving anything, especially ourselves is knowing where we are currently at.” -Derek Daley

1. Defining the culture 2. The Magic Combo: Assessment vs supervision 3. Key factors of establishing culture

Defining culture

The way of thinking, behaving and working

  1. Culture - shared values and beliefs that govern how people behave and provides boundaries that help people perform (behavior) ​Because culture is difficult to define, organizations may have trouble maintaining consistency in their messages about culture.

  2. Work climate - Shared perceptions and attitudes about the organization (feeling). Focusing on feeling gives short term games.

*Organizations who are trying to do culture change usually end up focusing on climate. Culture is harder to shift. It is easier to influence feelings vs behavior.

The Magic Combo

  1. Assessment: evaluation or estimation of the quality, or performance of someone or something

  2. Supervision: action of directing or providing oversight over someone or something.

  3. Magic Combo: engaged supervision and assessments monitoring through the use of various measurements.

  4. Professional: outside consultants provide strategy, planning and problem solving.

Example of Assessment vs Supervision

Scores on left represent attitude around culture and job, the higher the score the higher the collective satisfaction. ​ ​The points represent data collection points on this graph they are approximately 2 weeks apart, representing a 3 month period. ​ ​The data collected is the in the form of how do your feel about….? Such as; How do you feel about your job? Do you feel empowered? Do you feel satisfied? Do you enjoy your job? Do you respect your managers?

*Creating a data driven culture involves the entire organization and remember climate is easier to measure and change, it is how people feel? Culture is how people behave. ​

Key factors of establishing a culture of data collection

  1. Connecting Data Collection to Core Ideology, is to education on not only the company's Mission, Vision, & Values but how implementing data collection supports the Mission, Vision, & Values

  2. Ethics are the principles and standards by which data collection is implemented, They are best demonstrated through acts of fairness, compassion, integrity, honor and responsibility​.

  3. Roles and responsibilities, create clarity, make sure expectations are clearly understood​. Who’s role is it to collect and track data? what involvement or support is expected by other team members? What systems of support and accountability are in place? (Communicate upfront)

  4. Feedback, organize it structure it, encourage it. Invite it. ​Collecting data is a process and being flexible and open to feedback will reduce false starts and misfires. Create 2-way feedback at any point of our organization.

*Parallel with Legacy Outdoors process. Self-Awareness, Recovery, Honorable Personhood all revolving around a Heart At Peace

Managing vs facilitating data implementation

Manage: Commanding controlling​ - Run by the change​ - Adapting​ - Aiming for destination - Security​ - Imposing solutions​ - Provides answer - Facilitate: Empowering​ - Run the change​ - Anticipating​ - Appreciate the voyage - Flexibility - Co-creating solutions - Solicits feedback ​ *To begin manny organizations tend to start from the management approach, however when we are talking about culture it is more effective with the facilitating approach.

In the end creating a data driven culture involves the entire organization.

  1. Get onboard or get left behind

  2. You may be hesitant but you can do it

  3. Data culture enhances client outcomes

  4. Data collection is not just about improving client outcomes, it is also important for improving program outcomes.


To discuss more about creating a data driven culture contact:

Derek Daley

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