Process improvement for behavioral health

Tailor Brochures for Each Referral Source


Referrers do not have written materials with directions and guidance for clients to use to contact addiction treatment.


Create customized brochures for each of your referral sources to provide contact information and descriptions of your services that are specific to the clients served by each referral source.

Featured Stories

St. Christopher’s Inn in Garrison, New York developed a brochure that can easily be customized for each referral source. It includes a section that can easily be changed for different referral sources, entitled: “Why Program Name would make a referral to St. Christopher’s Inn.” The brochure includes successful outcomes—such as the percentage of clients who graduated, remained abstinent, and obtained a job. The brochure also includes a personal story about a client. See their sample brochure. For further information see St. Christopher’s Inn case study.

Women’s Recovery Association in Burlingame, California created a brochure for referral sources that are likely to make referrals to their evening intensive outpatient program, including private pay, fee-for-service contracts (mostly criminal justice clients and women with small children), county funding, and hospitals.

Lessons Learned

  • Provide brochures aimed at referral sources, explaining why they would refer to your agency.
  • Provide brochures aimed at prospective clients for referral sources to distribute.
  • Include outcomes.

Tracking Measures

Cycle Measure

Percentage of referred clients who were admitted

Data Collection Forms



  • 1. Select a referral source.
  • 2. Decide what information to include in a brochure so that it targets clients from that referral source.
  • 3. Collect baseline data for the number of admissions resulting from referrals made by the selected referrer for two weeks.


  • 4. Create the brochure with information customized for the selected referral source.
  • 5. Distribute the brochure to selected referral source’s clients for the next two weeks.
  • 6. Track the number of admissions from the selected referrer.


  • 7. Check the fidelity of the change. Was the change implemented as planned?
  • 8. Evaluate the change:
    • Did the number of referrals from the selected referrer increase?
    • Did the number of admissions for clients referred by this referrer increase?
    • What feedback did the referral source and clients provide about the brochure?


  • 9. If this change was an improvement:
    • Adopt this change or adapt it for more improvement and re-test it with the same referral source.
    • Expand the use of this process to other referral sources.
    • Document the processes that resulted in an improvement so that you can continue to use them efficiently.
    • Test other, related promising practices that apply to your setting.

If this change was not an improvement and you can’t make it work, abandon this practice and test other promising practices that might be more successful in your setting.