Process improvement for behavioral health

Use Video Conferencing


Clients and/or staff have to travel too far for face-to-face appointments.


Use video conferencing so the client can meet with a counselor or doctor while still in treatment at the referring agency. This is especially useful in rural areas.

Featured Stories

The Partnership for Advancing Recovery in Kentucky (PARK) installed webcams in agencies that worked together so that clients could meet a counselor in the outpatient program before leaving residential treatment. They also arranged for doctors to use video conferencing to meet with clients who lived in rural areas. For more information about this change and all of the changes implemented by PARK, see the PARK Continuum of Care.

Lessons Learned

  • Explore discounts for purchasing multiple webcams for all participating agencies.
  • Arrange for Internet connectivity for participating agencies.

Tracking Measures

Cycle Measure

Percentage of referred clients who were admitted

Data Collection Forms



  • 1. Select one referral source.
  • 2. Install webcams in the office of the selected referrer and a key counselor or doctor.
  • 3. Train the staff members at both agencies to use the webcam.
  • 4. Collect baseline data for the percentage of referred clients who were admitted.


  • 5. Test using webcams to connect a few clients with the treatment program for the next two weeks.
  • 6. Track and calculate the percentage of referred clients who were admitted.


  • 7. Check the fidelity of the change. Was the change implemented as planned?
  • 8. Evaluate the change:
    • How did staff and clients respond to using the technology?
    • Did the percentage of referred clients who were admitted increase?


  • 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.
    • Make the use of webcams available to all of the clients of the selected referrer, as appropriate.
    • Expand the use of this process to other referrers.
    • 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.