• Presentation

Using Dashboards to Facilitate Substance Abuse Health Outcomes


Lakshmikanthan, S., Golla, B. J., DeLatte, M. A., Dave, L. R., Savage, W., Uglow, D., ... Avula, D. (2011, October). Using Dashboards to Facilitate Substance Abuse Health Outcomes. Presented at APHA 2011, Washington, DC.


The Services Accountability Improvement System (SAIS) is a performance management system that captures Government Performance and Reporting Act (GPRA) information on substance abuse treatment services delivered by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) discretionary grantees. Over 600 grantees and their service providers submit client-based GPRA data on monthly, weekly, and daily cycles. These grantees, and SAMHSA staff, in turn use the SAIS website as a source of over 30 performance reports and for data downloads. SAIS is used to track SAMHSA's progress toward its strategic initiatives, such as improving access to health care for returning veterans. The core client interview includes information on types of services delivered, substance use outcomes, and other risk and protective factors such as injection drug use, HIV testing, employment, and housing status. SAIS data also inform Federal staff on the grantees ability to serve their target populations and meet their client and budget targets. As part of the ongoing evolution and improvement of SAIS, the SAIS dashboard reports, in easy-to-read graphical format, enable grantees to quickly and routinely understand how they are performing against their key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs support consistent national goals, and contribute to improved substance abuse treatment program outcomes. The dashboards can be customized based on the user's privileges within SAIS, thus ensuring data security. SAIS Dashboard reports provide the viewing of grant performance in 14 program areas thus permitting the user to target areas of underperformance. Dashboard reports can be exported into different formats (e.g., print, slideshows), thus allowing stakeholders to describe a program's performance and client outcomes without the need to access multiple reports and delving into complex data tables.

Learning objectives:
By the end of the session, the participant will be able to: (1) Identify the criteria for selecting key dashboard performance indicators, (2) Prioritize and scale dashboard functionality, (3) Differentiate an effective dashboard from graphical reports, (4) Describe the motivation for using dashboards, (5) Describe at a high-level the process for implementing dashboards, (6) State various technologies used in creating dashboards.