Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, technology was already playing an ever increasing role in the management, provision, and marketing of services and jobs. Now, offering virtual services and hybrid work are ongoing options, and electronic learning management systems help to offer and track trainings. Assess where your program is, and what you goals for using technology are; ensure your staff are trained in the technology they use, and they and your clients have access to internet for the purposes of their care, or a sound alternative planned in advance.
In many programs, workers have access to:
- A computer linked to an internal network and to the world wide web
- Individual email addresses
- Trainings via computer at work or at home
- Communications from management or supervisors
- Communications to supervisees
However, many line staff do not have such access. There may be one email address used for all staff, computers may be limited or out of date, or may not be linked.
- Online options are growing for virtual and chat-room style AA/Smart Recovery meetings, and individual peer support.
- Smart Phones are being used by individuals managing chronic conditions such as addiction, diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure. The tool helps self-management, and also can provide quick access to online help or in some cases to the involved clinician. See the Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies for more general information about technology for service provision.
- Social media (such as Facebook and Twitter) are being used to create online support communities
- Virtual Reality programs allow people with addictions, including veterans with PTSD and addictions, to practice responding to environmental triggers, in a safe setting with guidance from therapists.
Most organizations have a website, which allows basic information to be available to job candidates and potential clients, as well as others (funders, payers, donors). This website should be up to date and at the least contain working contact information and a description of the program, and may be expanded to provide comprehensive information for potential clients, funders, donors, board members and other stakeholders. Online appointment scheduling can be a plus. Connections to social media such as Meta (formerly Facebook) and Twitter, or publishing a blog or vlog, or whatever app your local community members use may also be useful.