Building Capacity for Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI)

A Pilot Study

Published in: Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment Volume 81 (October 2017), Pages 44-52. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2017.07.014

Posted on on August 24, 2017

by Sarah B. Hunter, Carolyn M. Rutter, Allison J. Ober, Marika Booth

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Access further information on this document at Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment Volume 81 (October 2017)

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

Background and Objective

Little is known about the feasibility, effectiveness, and sustainability of CQI approaches in substance use disorder treatment settings.


In the initial phase of this study, eight programs were randomly assigned to receive a CQI intervention or to a waitlist control condition to obtain preliminary information about potential effectiveness. In the second phase, the initially assigned control programs received the CQI intervention to gain additional information about intervention feasibility while sustainability was explored among the initially assigned intervention programs.

Results and Conclusions

Although CQI was feasible and sustainable, demonstrating its effectiveness using administrative data was challenging suggesting the need to better align performance measurement systems with CQI efforts. Further, although the majority of staff were enthusiastic about utilizing this approach and reported provider and patient benefits, many noted that dedicated time was needed in order to implement and sustain it.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

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