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Introduction: Avivo New Year's Data Science Resolution
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By Brian Utz

StarEightyTwo and Social Data Science began 2018 on an exciting note, with the groups partnering to host a New Year’s Data Science Resolution. The goal of the resolution is to engage members of StarEightyTwo and Social Data Science to collaborate on analytics projects that spark their interest. The first meeting of the New Year’s Data Science Resolution, a project-pitch session in January, involved members pitching various analytics projects to pursue, voting on the top projects, and then splitting into smaller groups to work on these projects over the next couple months.

Our Partnership with Avivo

Avivo, a Minneapolis-based non-profit organization, was one of the non-profit organizations that attended the pitch session as a potential partner and data sponsor. Avivo helps more than 18,000 people each year achieve recovery, employment, and economic advancement. Its mission is to reduce economic and health disparities in the community by targeting its services towards individuals facing multiple complex barriers to success, such as poverty, homelessness, unemployment, chemical addiction, or mental health concerns. Avivo’s presentation and mission resonated with many individuals in the room, and a group of us, informally known as “Team Avivo,” joined forces to determine how we could use analytics to help Avivo and the Twin Cities community.

Improving Avivo’s Outpatient Substance Abuse Program

We are fortunate to partner with Boyd Brown, Avivo’s Vice President of Chemical & Mental Health, and the broader Avivo team, to work on improving the success of Avivo’s outpatient substance abuse program. Individuals who complete outpatient substance abuse programs are at a lower risk of full relapse or incarceration in the months after the program than they are if they do not complete the program.

Avivo’s outpatient substance abuse treatment program has a historical completion rate near 60%, which is roughly 10 percentage points higher than the national average was in 2013. Over the past three years, however, Avivo’s outpatient treatment completion rate has fallen to 43%. Avivo is looking for insights to better understand the population they serve, factors driving successful program completion, and how it can make this information actionable to improve the success of its outpatient substance abuse treatment program.

Avivo Desires to Turn Data into Actionable Insights

“There is a disconnect between the data we are reporting out from a regulatory perspective and how we can use that data to better understand our population and impact of our services,” said Boyd during our team’s site visit to Avivo. Avivo’s regulatory reporting assists with the broader national goal of monitoring disparities in care across demographic groups, but Avivo would like to know how it can use this information to benefit its clients and improve its services. Our team is excited to dig into the data and partner with Avivo to determine how our findings can influence any clinical or operational interventions to improve the success of the outpatient substance abuse program. Through our team’s analytical knowledge and Avivo’s domain expertise, we hope to build a sustainable process of using Avivo’s incoming client data to customize each client’s treatment and put its clients in the best position to complete the outpatient substance abuse program.

Understanding Avivo’s Historical Client Data

In order to understand Avivo’s client population, each client’s progress through the program, and the key predictors of program completion, our team will use Avivo’s admission and discharge data for the nearly 1,577 clients who participated in outpatient substance abuse program from late-2014 to the end of 2017. This data set includes demographic information about each client, medical history, criminal history, and their goals and behavior throughout the program.

In addition to the data set provided by Avivo, we are also working on incorporating additional data sources to enhance our understanding of Avivo’s clients and improve the robustness of the results of our analysis. Avivo is working with the Minnesota Department of Health and Human Services to incorporate Avivo’s admission and discharge data from 2004 to 2013 in order to increase our sample size. We are also looking to add Avivo’s client post-discharge satisfaction survey data to the data set to better understand the impact of Avivo’s services on program completion.

Stay Tuned for Our Next Update on April 7th!

Our next update, on April 7th, will describe the progress we have made on our data enrichment efforts and the results of our initial analysis. We are excited to see what we will find and how we can incorporate our findings into actionable recommendations for Avivo over the upcoming months.