We at Alliance have made it our goal to set the Standard for Excellence in Medical Monitoring across Canada.
What is Medical Monitoring?
Medical monitoring is an extension of occupational addiction medicine which allows participants to achieve optimal health outcomes by assuming personal responsibility and accountability for their recovery and associated behaviours.
By adhering to a detailed relapse prevention agreement comprised of random biological testing, engagement in recovery activities and ongoing meetings with their monitor, participants often recognize tangible benefits to their well-being and success in recovery. Conversely, non-compliance may result in consequences.
Ensure the Highest Possible Recovery Rates
Why do so many people fail to stay clean and sober after treatment, yet in certain groups such as substance dependent physicians we see recovery rates of over 80%? It turns out that what happens after primary treatment is even more important that what happens during treatment.
Addiction treatment research is pretty clear – treatment works. But addictions are chronic, and like other chronic diseases, we know that it takes long term vigilance to achieve long-term success. Primary treatment of substance dependence, whether inpatient or intensive outpatient, will only provide a foundation for the much slower process of building a stable recovery.
Contingency behavioural management is perhaps the most important motivational technique currently available to increase the likelihood of sustained remission for people with addictions. Accordingly, monitoring is an integral component of the recovery process for verifying that the recovering individual is participating fully in a comprehensive recovery program, particularly for safety sensitive and safety critical employment.
In order to match those high rates of recovery we achieve with recovering doctors, medical monitoring appears most effective when it is continued for at least two years following appropriate primary treatment of the substance disorder(s).
What is a Relapse Prevention Agreement?
A Relapse Prevention Agreement is a document between Alliance Medical Monitoring Inc. and the participant which specifies “the terms under which the participant will be monitored. Within this agreement, any recommendations made by an addiction evaluator and/or other specialists will be included. A typical agreement contains the following in addition to custom recommendations:
• Regular monitoring sessions with a compliance monitor
• Engagement within the recovery community
• Random biological testing
• Regular Pharmanet reviews (where available)
• Compliance and progress reporting
Alliance Medical Monitoring Inc. is unique in several ways
• Relapse Prevention Agreements are customized to individual participants based on medical recommendations, as well as workplace requirements
• A Certified Medical Review Officer is retained by Alliance Medical Monitoring Inc. to provide oversight; all positive biological test results undergo prompt medical review for declaration of critical non-compliance
• Alliance staff engage in a weekly team meeting to strategize complex files toward successful compliance
• “Alliance utilizes a variety of testing technologies including urine testing, oral swab testing, hair analysis, EtG (Ethyl Glucuronide) testing, EtS (Ethyl Sulfate) testing, PEth (Phosphatidylethanol) testing and breath testing, (including Soberlink).
• Alliance utilizes a variety of collection strategies to help mitigate deception in biological testing
• “Biological testing dates are generated on a truly random basis, 7 days a week, and do not follow a pattern of predictability.
• Alliance will monitor concurrent recommendations such as counselling requirements, medication adherence, gambling exclusion, program attendance, etc.
• Participants are provided with a unique system for logging in for determination of testing status using their computers or smart phones. A telephone system is also in place in the event that a participant does not have internet access, or there are technical difficulties.
• Alliance employs Compliance Monitors who are trained to engage a non-therapeutic role with participants, thereby ensuring our clients are provided objective assurance toward safety within the workplace.
• Alliance will coordinate Workplace Behavioural Monitoring where required
Alliance Medical Monitoring Inc. has developed a number of monitoring programs to suit the needs of employers and insurers:
Signature Monitoring is suitable for individuals who have a diagnosis and are returning to safety-sensitive or highly responsible positions at work, as well as those whose diagnosis may be uncertain but who are also returning to a safety-sensitive workplace.
Enhanced Monitoring is suitable for individuals who are not yet stable in their recovery and who may be awaiting treatment, as well as those who may have experienced a lapse in their abstinence.
Basic Monitoring is suitable for individuals who are in non-safety sensitive positions and who have been recommended for monitoring through evaluation or through workplace policy.
Biological Testing programs are suitable for individuals who must provide evidence of abstinence without any collateral recommendations such as engagement in recovery.
Additionally, Alliance will customize programs and agreements to reflect the individual recommendations of an evaluator and/or the specific requirements of an employer or workplace designate.