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VOLUME 48 | NUMBER 1 | FEBRUARY 2013


A High-Resolution Analysis of Process Improvement: Use of Quantile Regression for Wait Time

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Keywords: Wait time; process improvement; quantile regression; Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment (NIATx)

Objective: Apply quantile regression for a high-resolution analysis of changes in wait time to treatment and assess its applicability to quality improvement data compared with least-squares regression.

Data Source: Addiction treatment programs participating in the Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment.

Methods: We used quantile regression to estimate wait time changes at 5, 50, and 95 percent and compared the results with mean trends by least-squares regression.

Principal Findings: Quantile regression analysis found statistically significant changes in the 5 and 95 percent quantiles of wait time that were not identified using least-squares regression.

Conclusions: Quantile regression enabled estimating changes specific to different percentiles of the wait time distribution. It provided a high-resolution analysis that was more sensitive to changes in quantiles of the wait time distributions.

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