Staying connected to others sharing the journey of recovery is a vital element of successful, sustained sobriety.
To further assist our former residents and their families, particularly during early recovery, St. Joseph’s applied for and received a significant technology grant from the Adirondack Health Institute to purchase and implement an app (smart phone application) from the Chess Health company that integrates technology into the recovery process.
Dr. David H. Gustafson, PhD, a nationally recognized substance abuse expert, developed the A-CHESS, app using scientifically validated research on addiction treatment and the recovery process.
The app is designed to connect patients, providers, and payers through a user interface that is responsive, easy to use, and that provides a personalized recovery resource in a secure environment that promotes trust, compassion, and success.
The service allows for confidential texting, group conversations, daily affirmations, recovery surveys, and emergency contacts at the press of a button.
The app also allows clinicians to engage people in treatment outside of their on-site appointments by sending reminders, notifications, and communications to help individuals stay engaged and mindful of available resources.
This app is so sophisticated that people can enter geographic locations that could be unhealthy for them and can also notify clinicians and other people linked to that individual.
All this information will be tracked and monitored by clinicians and can provide significant data that we will be able to learn from regarding what is helping and where we can be of better service.
Another part of the platform, which is rolling out early next year, is an app that will be offered at our Open Access Center, hospitals, and other locations to people who need treatment, but who might not be ready for care. These people will be able to download the app and will be introduced to referral options, daily affirmations, and less intrusive ways to guide them into treatment earlier and potentially reduce ER visits.
We will also be participating as a beta (the second phase of software testing in which a sampling of the intended audience tries the product) tester for a family app. This piece will allow family members and other loved ones of people in recovery to connect, stay connected, and be mutual resources and support systems for each other while their loved ones are taking their recovery journey.
A loved one’s own recovery is just as important as those recovering from addiction and this app will be a strong resource for those family members to find their own hope and healing.
Zach Randolph, Director of Inpatient Services