eRecovery offers critical link to sustainable business success for Valley Hope and personalized outreach to individuals at risk moments

Empowering Recovery with Personalized Support: eRecovery as a Critical Link to Sustainable Success

Coming from a Place of Empathy

Recovery is hard. There are as many ways to describe an individual’s experience as they are journeying through: It is tedious and challenging, and it can be both a sprint and a marathon.

Kristina Ward knows this well. As a supervisor of peer engagement for CHESS Health, she oversees a team of specialists who monitor and engage with individuals within the “Community” feature in the Connections app. Together they offer a round-the-clock support network, providing encouragement, modeling positive outlooks, and most importantly, responding to escalations.

“I supervise the peers who are working directly on the community messaging boards, posting topics and moderating discussions, and as a supervisor, I respond to escalations,” Ward offered as a high-level explanation of her day-to-day work. But that description omits a critical detail. Kristina is in recovery herself, as are the members of the peer engagement team she oversees. Having lived experience provides her and her team a first-hand understanding of what individuals face – the challenges, the hard days, and the doubts.

Kristina and her team members monitor messaging boards and daily check-ins from an expert and empathetic perspective. They are looking for signs someone may be experiencing depression, considering self-harm, losing confidence or in danger of returning to use, among other issues.

During a typical day, Kristina will respond to an average of 10 to 20 escalations. But as someone in recovery herself, Kristina understands the science behind the value of rapid intervention and the need to provide hope and help that can be achieved with a single message or phone call. A timely response can be life-saving for individuals in recovery, acting as the motivation that keeps them on track toward their recovery goals. Additionally, from both a provider and business standpoint, it helps treatment facilities avoid the financial impact of patients prematurely discontinuing treatment.

Compassionate Support is Critical to Sustainable Business Success and Positive Patient Outcomes

Take the case of John (not his real name), a patient at Valley Hope, a Kansas-based provider operating 13 treatment programs across six states in America’s heartland. At the residential facility where John was receiving treatment, residents were encouraged to download and actively use CHESS Health’s Connections app, a foundational component of the eRecovery solution. The app includes peer-moderated community messaging, digital CBT modules, and coping and recovery support resources among other tools. Though many residential treatment facilities do not encourage phone access, Valley Hope recognizes the value for their clients in establishing a connection with the community and peers in the Connections app as an effective means of bolstering their recovery support. They recognize that individuals can experience isolation and risk moments at any time, so establishing a routine of engaging on the app provides a familiar and trusted community their clients can rely on regardless of the time or place of a risk moment.    

In late January of this year, John experienced a risk moment while in residential treatment. Kristina noted that he had answered an in-app survey by reporting thoughts of self-harm. She immediately followed up with a phone call, where John explained that those thoughts were ongoing, that he was discussing them with a therapist, and that he didn’t consider himself at risk. A few days later, however, he answered his daily check-in by saying he was no longer confident in his recovery. 

Kristina reached out directly and learned that John had checked himself out of treatment previously and that he was considering doing so again. She was empathetic to his frustrations and understood his feelings of being overwhelmed and awash with doubt he could achieve recovery. The Connections Peer Team, individuals within the Connections online community, and Kristina offered him support. Additionally, she communicated the situation to his onsite care team at Valley Hope. Collectively they provided the support necessary to help John decide to remain in treatment.

The positive impact of this intervention extended beyond benefitting John; it highlighted the value of augmenting their program with the eRecovery solution as a means to achieve positive outcomes for individuals and ensure sustainable business success. This specific intervention is estimated to have safeguarded $10K-$15K in revenue for the residential treatment services at Valley Hope. 

Cases like John’s are why Kristina loves what she does. She is a part of a team – of peer engagement specialists, providers, community organizations, and a community of individuals in recovery – all working toward a common goal to reach and engage individuals who are seeking support to be in and maintain a long-term recovery. “Many times, people in treatment think about leaving but don’t talk about it with anyone and they end up leaving. They don’t give themselves a chance to even have a conversation about their decision,” she notes. “And it’s so hard to get into treatment in the first place that, once they are there, it’s so important for them to stick it out.”

Dana Kerney, senior vice president of business development at Valley Hope, echoed Kristina’s sentiment. “Obviously that individual felt a comfort level with relaying that sort of message across the app versus communicating that directly to their clinician,” Kerney said. “Perhaps that individual would have just left. That’s the worst-case scenario, they would have left without us being aware and being able to provide any interventions.

That has been one of the strongest benefits of working with CHESS. They are stellar about communicating with our team.

Dana Kerney, Senior Vice President of Business Developement at Valley Hope

We’re grateful that the Connections app and peer engagement were there to fill in the gaps.” CHESS Health acts as an extension of the organizations with whom they partner. In the case of escalations, they are all documented and communicated with the partnering organization “That has been one of the strongest benefits of working with CHESS,” says Kerney. “They are stellar about communicating with our team. It feels like having a partner you can trust.”

When Kristina checked in with John a week or so later, he responded that he was in a better place emotionally. And still in treatment. 

To learn more about how Valley Hope’s success with eRecovery and the Connections app, read “Enhanced Recovery Support to Enrich Treatment Outcomes and Boost Business Success”.

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Enhanced Recovery Support to Enrich Treatment Outcomes and Boost Business Success

Valley Hope forged a partnership with CHESS Health back in June 2019, harnessing its eRecovery solution to equip clinicians with user-friendly tools for patient communication and progress monitoring, alongside round-the-clock peer recovery support. As time progressed, Valley Hope officials saw that CHESS Health’s tools offered a significant opportunity to enhance long-term engagement. Since the launch…