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Resource Center > Provider Toolkit > The NIATx Way > Select a Change Idea to Test

Select a Change Idea to Test

What practices hold promise for accomplishing the selected aim?

Find new ideas you may want to try out. We’ll give you instructions below to combine the creativity on your own team with promising practices, ideas from other NIATx organizations that have proven useful.

Test the changes, but keep these tips in mind:

  • Launch no change permanently until it’s been tried out first (usually on a limited scale or for a limited time)
  • Evaluate the success of the test—did a change produce the desired effect? This involves determining when, where, and under what conditions a team will test a change. Furthermore, when teams test changes before they are implemented full-scale, people feel they have more freedom to try out new ideas.

NIATx has catalogued promising practices associated with each of the four aims. These promising practices are solutions that have worked for other NIATx organizations. Though there is no guarantee that they will work for your situation, they should at least provide inspiration for ideas you may want to try.

There are different promising practices for each of the four aims. Detailed descriptions of these practices, including examples of their application, are listed under each aim, as well as in the library of promising practices.

Add to the List

The benefit of using one of the promising practices that NIATx has documented is that they have already been proven to work at least in some circumstances. However, do not limit your team to our list. One of the tricks in this step is to be creative in the types of changes you consider testing.

Here are specific ways you could add to the list:

  • Ask coworkers who deal with the process every day what recommendations they have
  • Brainstorm ideas on the team using the Nominal Group Technique [link].
  • Network with other organizations both inside and outside the addiction treatment field. For example, any business that works via appointments has to deal with no shows. You might find good ideas in any physician’s office, legal office, or even beauty salon.

Select a Change to Test

Which particular practice to test in your organization is up to you. You can base the decision on experience or on how closely the descriptions in the examples match your situation.

Identify the Data to Collect

Earlier on, you identified a measure or metric linked to the overall goal for the project (such as elapsed time from contact to first appointment). Now it’s time to take that thinking one layer down and identify data that will reflect whether the specific change you’re going to make is successful or not.

Each promising practice listed in this toolkit includes suggested baseline measures and data collection tools.