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How to Monitor EAP Effectiveness

Four aspects of care and services to keep an eye on.

December 27, 1999
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As the scope of EAPs continues to broaden, it’s critical to determine if the programs are doing what they were intended to do. The effectiveness of EAPs can be evaluated on a variety of fronts. The specific aspects of care and services that should be monitored include:

  • Access, availability and responsiveness of counselors:
    How timely is the telephone access to case managers? How quickly are appointments scheduled for emergent clients? For routine affiliate appointments? What is the proximity between the client customer location and the counselor/affiliate’s office? To assure prompt access to EAP services, the timeliness of counselors’ response to clients’ initial request for assistance is evaluated.

    The timeliness of emergent and routine appointments is also monitored to assure the availability of client appointments. Access and availability are further determined by the number of counselor offices in proximity to the company's locations.
  • Types of clinical services being sought:
    What is the number and type of the high-risk cases such as threats of suicide, homicide, and aggressive workplace behaviors? How many substance abuse cases are being treated? What is the timeliness of aftercare follow-up on substance abuse cases? What is the number of type of critical incidents and the rate of response for these requests? To assure the quality of care provided, companies need to determine how many clinical audits are conducted each year.
  • Program and company satisfaction:
    To evaluate client satisfaction and efficiency of client care and services, companies need to determine if their employees and managers are satisfied with the EAP services provided. Client, training, and account management surveys are used to determine the satisfaction with and effectiveness of EAP services. To further assess the level of satisfaction, the number of and timely response to complaints is also monitored.
  • Utilization rates:
    To determine annual usage—including over and under utilization—companies need to know how many employees and family members are using the service and the demographics of the people using the EAP. What is the age, gender, relationship to employee, job category, and knowledge of EAP?

    To determine if the EAP is being under or over utilized, the number of employees and family members accessing the service is monitored. This also includes an evaluation of the demographics of the people using the program, as well as the types of problems assessed by counselors.

SOURCE: VMC Behavioral Healthcare Services, Chicago, 847/625-3521.

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