One of only 29 recipients nationwide Turning Point, an alcohol and drug addiction treatment center in northeastern New Jersey, has been awarded a three-year, $839,000 grant by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a public health agency within the Department of Health and Human Services. The grant will be used to expand the use of health information technology to improve access to Turning Point’s addiction treatment programs and services.
Turning Point was the only New Jersey agency to receive funds through the competitive grant process. Only 28 other agencies from across the United Sates were awarded grants. “Applying information technology to health care is a critical next step for providers like us,” said Dr. Manuel Guantez, Turning Point’s Executive Director. “But in the current fiscal climate, few addiction treatment providers can afford the nearly million-dollar price tag. It’s too costly at a time when we’re all just trying to survive,” he added.
Dr. Guantez explained that the grant will support new technology that will make it easier for those who need treatment to access it. For example, clients entering Turning Point will be able to use their smartphone or web-based information to make the process more efficient.
The new technology will also enable Turning Point to share “real time” information with all those providing care who need access to it. The project will benefit New Jersey’s entire addiction treatment system by making possible an electronic health record (EHR) that will meet the unique documentation, reporting and billing needs of all of the state’s addiction treatment providers.
“In the end, it’s all about giving our clients a better chance to find lasting recovery,” Dr. Guantez concluded. “We aim to be creative in the ways we collect, manage and use information to improve outcomes for those who receive addiction treatment at Turning Point.”
The New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies (NJAMHAA) and the New Jersey Department of Human Services/Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services will both consult with Turning Point on the project’s implementation. Each year, Turning Point treats more than 2,000 men and women for their alcohol and drug addiction at its state-of-the-art facility in northeastern New Jersey. The agency offers a full range of services intended to treat addiction with compassion and clinical excellence.
Turning Point is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and adheres to the criteria set by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM).