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Implementation Research and Practice

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Community mental health services, Evidence-based social work, Medical care -- Oregon -- Evaluation, Health services administration


Background: Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) is a recognized evidence-based practice, but the use of Translation Science to ensure the broad implementation of high quality ACT services has not yet been fully explored. This single intrinsic case study explores how Oregon uses strategies identified through Translation Science to achieve statewide implementation of high-fidelity recovery-oriented ACT.

Method: Multiple data sources were used to evaluate this implementation process, including ACT fidelity review reports, programmatic outcome data, a national ACT taskforce survey, and focus groups with program participants.

Findings: In 2013, the Oregon Health Authority funded the creation of the Oregon Center of Excellence for Assertive Community Treatment to support the implementation of ACT. It also implemented administrative rules requiring an annual re-certification process with a minimum level of fidelity to the evidence-based model. Other implementation strategies included establishing an ACT Advisory Committee, quarterly reviews of implementation and outcome data, and trainings promoting the role of peer providers and related evidence-based practices.

Conclusion: High-fidelity recovery-oriented ACT services in Oregon are maintained through multiple strategies, including codifying the minimum level of ACT implementation into state administrative rule, linking fidelity benchmarks scores to Medicaid reimbursements, and funding ongoing oversight, training and technical assistance through a statewide technical assistance center. Strict adherence to the ACT model has been a key to ensuring a uniform level of high-quality care across Oregon while incorporating additional evidence-based practices without compromising the integrity of the original model.


© The Author(s) 2021

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