Measuring Your Employee Assistance Program’s Performance

Nov 1, 2010
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Set challenging benchmarksfor your employee assistance program (EAP).Tom Amaral, president of EAP Technology Systems Inc., a Yreka, Calif.-based vendor of software and services to employee assistance programs, suggests these targets:

Good: 5 alcohol cases or 5 drug cases per 1,000 covered employees.

Very good: 7.5.

Exceptional: More than 10, which is the equivalent of seeing approximately 10 percent of those employees who have such problems.

EAPsshould produce the following metrics separately for drugs and alcohol:

Utilization rates track the proportion of employees who contacted counselors with drug or alcohol problems.

Referral rates track the proportion of cases referred for continuing assistance as a result of the EAP assessment.

Referral acceptance rates track the clients’ expressed willingness during the assessment interviews to follow through with the outside referral.

Follow-through rates track the number of employee cases where the client actually initiated the recommended contact and accepted treatment.

Services completion rates track the proportion of cases that completed all recommended and accepted services.

Supervisory referral ratios track the proportion of cases opened that were referred by supervisors. Other ratios can be included for other types of referrals, such as medical referral ratios or union referral ratios.

Similar performance metrics should be available for other EAP services.

Here are the formulas for each:

Drug/alcohol utilization rate =
(Drug or Alcohol Cases/Eligible employees) x 1,000

Referral rate =
(Cases that EAP Referred/Employee cases) x 1,000

Referral acceptance rate =
(Cases that accepted recommendations/Cases that were given recommendations) x 1,000

Follow-through rate =
(Cases that contacted recommendations/Cases that accepted recommendations) x 1,000

Services completion rate =
(Cases that completed services/Cases that contacted recommendations) x 1,000

Supervisory referral rate=
(Supervisory-referred cases/Employee cases) x 1,000

Source: “Global benchmarking: Implications of research data for EAP practices,” April 2008,Employee Assistance Handbook (John Wiley & Sons, 1999).

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