Throughout Everett, many of our most vulnerable and marginalized residents utilize services that span multiple systems, including law enforcement, the jail, emergency departments, emergency medical services (EMS), social service agencies and homeless shelters. Many of these individuals have overlapping legal, health, mental health, and substance use issues that result in repeated, expensive, and avoidable contact with the health care, emergency medical services, crisis care, legal, and criminal justice systems.
CHART (CHronic-Utilizer Alternative Response Team) is a team of criminal justice, emergency response, and research partners who collaborate in an effort to reduce the impact of chronic utilizers on those systems. By taking a systemic approach, our goal is to create an individualized plan that will have a positive and measurable impact on the use of those resources without simply shifting costs from one partner organization to another. The primary goal of CHART is to decrease the system impacts associated with the disproportionate overlapping service utilization by these individuals; however, we anticipate that our efforts will also positively impact the lives of those identified for participation in CHART.
Who is on the CHART? There is a core team consisting of representatives from Everett Police Department, Everett Fire Department, Snohomish County Department of Human Services, Snohomish County Jail, the Everett City Attorney’s Office, and Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. A specialized team is formed for each identified CHART individual consisting of those people who can help craft an alternative plan such as treatment providers, public defenders, social workers, or other medical professionals.
How are individuals identified for CHART? Individuals are identified by members of the core team based on the frequency and severity of the individual’s contact with the various systems. Once an individual has been identified by a core CHART team member, his/her utilization of each of the respective systems is examined to determine the impact across the entire criminal justice and emergency response systems. The team then decides together if an individual should be added to CHART program. We are developing ways for others, such as community members or local businesses, to propose individuals who may be appropriate for the CHART program.
What happens when a person is identified for participation in CHART? An individual team is formed, and we collaborate on creative solutions to reduce impact on the systems. Each of the partner agencies commits resources to implementing the proposed plan (such as exceptional booking, quashing of warrants, and transport to alternative locations other than jail/hospital when possible) and works to keep the team updated of any changes. . Because the focus of our efforts is on system cost-reduction and efficiency, CHART individuals are not required to do anything to participate; however, the team seeks to collaborate with the identified individuals when possible to accomplish goals that mutually benefit the affected systems and improve the circumstances that led the individual’s use of system resources.
How do we measure success? By comparing each individual CHART participant’s utilization of the criminal justice, crisis care, legal, and emergency medical services systems prior to program participation and after participation in CHART, we will be able to determine the impact the program has on the overall system. We will be successful if we are able to reduce the frequency and severity of contacts by participants with these respective systems. Participation in CHART will be measured from point the core team determines an individual should be in CHART. The CHART individual will be on the “active” CHART list for as much time as necessary but may be moved to an “inactive status” after a period of 60 days with no or minimal contact with the affected systems. All CHART individuals will be tracked long term to measure success.