Fatal Overdose Review Teams – Research to Enhance Surveillance Systems (FORTRESS)

Prime Institution: Indiana University

With the rise in overdose deaths and reliance on a case review model, there is a need to shift Overdose Fatality Review Teams (OFR) toward using more timely population-level data to inform recommendations. The investigators aim to improve standard OFR practices in Indiana by use of a data dashboard built on real-time aggregate data, record-linked across multiple sources, and presented in a way that helps visualize common “overdose touchpoints” to deliver harm-reduction services or engage individuals in evidence-based treatment. The FORTRESS team will evaluate use of an Overdose Touchpoints Dashboard and Data-Driven Decision Making (DDDM) across 18 counties using a cluster randomized stepped-wedge trial, comparing the innovative approach to standard OFR practices. The investigators will assess impact on OFR process fidelity, staff attitudes, best-practice implementation, and dashboard usability. It is expected that the approach will lead to better quality OFR recommendations, increased evidence-based practice, and long-term reductions in overdose.

Matthew Aalsma

Matthew Aalsma, PhD, Indiana University, MPI

Dr. Aalsma is a psychologist by training and Professor at the IU School of Medicine. He directs the Adolescent Behavioral Health Research Program, which is an interdisciplinary group of researchers developing innovative approaches to behavioral health challenges, from basic science with fMRI studies of teen addiction to multi-site implementation trials to train providers in evidence-based treatment. His research focuses on large, multi-county implementation trials to collaborate with communities to utilize local data to guide and inform local evidence-based practices.

Khairi Reda

Khairi Reda, PhD, Indiana University, MPI

Khairi Reda is an Associate Professor in the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis. His research lies at the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction and Data Science, with interests in visual analytics, visualization, and data cognition. Reda is a recipient of the NSF CAREER award.

Brad Ray

Bradley Ray, PhD, Research Triangle Institute International, MPI

Dr. Brad Ray, PhD, joined RTI International as a Senior Researcher in 2021. He received his PhD from North Carolina State University in Sociology in 2012 and spent nearly a decade in higher education as professor. He is a community-engaged researcher who focuses on mental health and substance use disorders, particularly where these populations intersect with the criminal legal systems. Much of his recent research is aimed at overdose prevention through incorporating harm reduction strategies.