A new publication from the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC), a bona fide agent of the Kentucky Department for Public Health housed at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health, provides analysis of data from the innovative Find Help Now project. The statewide initiative, the authors conclude, has the potential to provide a model for treating substance use disorder (SUD) nationwide.
The goals of the project, the analysis of which appears in BMC Public Health, were to 1) recruit SUD treatment facility and partner participation; 2) develop the platform, content, and analytics for the FindHelpNowKY.org website intervention with an information repository; 3) assess barriers and facilitators to implementation; and 4) evaluate the development and implementation of FindHelpNowKY.org.
The most visible facet of the initiative is the website FindHelpNowKY.org. With a comprehensive search tool and access to near-real time information on substance use disorder treatment openings within the state of Kentucky, the website fills a critical need for timely access to available SUD treatment in the state. The website is also a valuable resource for health care providers, social workers, and officers of the courts. Powering the site is a network of partnerships with treatment facilities, government agencies, and communities.
In reviewing the data from the website’s first eight months of activity, investigators found that the average visitor spent seven minutes on the website. From February to October 2018, there were 29,000 visitors, and 30,000 unique searches. The most common website query was that of a friend or family member seeking long-term residential or outpatient treatment facilities accepting Medicaid or Medicare. Eighty-three percent of SUD treatment facilities in Kentucky were indexed on the website.
The authors conclude that “[FindHelpNowKY.org] is a promising tool for assessing current SUD treatment capacity vs. SUD treatment need. The Find Help Now model can be used by other states to increase timely access to SUD treatment.”
The FindHelpNow Kentucky project is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Terry Bunn, KIPRC director, is the principal investigator. Dr. Bunn is joined in authorship of the current publication by KIPRC / College of Public Health investigators Ms. Dana Quesinberry, Mr. Tyler Jennings, Ms. Amber Kizewski, Ms. Heather Jackson, Ms. Sarah McKeen, and Ms. Sarah Eustice.