• Presentation

Improving substance abuse treatment through innovative data collection, reporting and analysis


Lakshmikanthan, S., Avula, D., Dave, L. R., DeLatte, M. A., Franceschini, G. E., Golla, B. J., ... Council, C. L. (2010, November). Improving substance abuse treatment through innovative data collection, reporting and analysis. Presented at American Public Health Association Annual Meeting & Exposition, Denver, CO.


The U.S. government's Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) funds grant programs through the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT). These programs support SAMHSA's free treatment referral service to link individuals, including populations particularly vulnerable to substance abuse issues such as veterans and the homeless, with the community-based substance abuse services they need. CSAT engaged RTI International to operate and enhance a web-based system, SAIS (Service Accountability Improvement System), to collect, validate, store and analyze data submitted by grantees that provide services to individuals enrolled in grant programs. CSAT administrators and grantees rely heavily on this data as it forms the basis for analysis and evaluation of program effectiveness. This paper describes the data collection, computational, and reporting methods used to produce accurate and actionable information for CSAT administrators and grantees. Key data collection methods include website data entry and data upload using web services. Data analysis and reporting is derived from encounter-level data as well as aggregated data stored in a dimensionally modeled data warehouse. Use of business intelligence methods and tools yields high quality results for research and reporting activities. Collectively, these capabilities enable CSAT administrators and grantees to achieve program-specific performance targets. More broadly, these results inform CSAT administrators as they endeavor to improve services and service availability to all populations.