Measurement Based Care Mental Health
In behavioral health, measurement based care mental health is a systematic process for monitoring client progress and outcome. It involves using data collected throughout treatment to alter treatment plans as patients respond or do not respond. This approach is often used in a number of evidence-based treatments, and can be adapted to fit individual treatment plans.
Measurement-based care mental health is a growing area of interest for researchers, clinicians, and payors. It has been shown to reduce symptom deterioration and improve patient outcomes. It is also a useful strategy for monitoring patient improvement and engaging patients in therapy, thereby extending retention.
To be effective, measurement-based care requires accurate symptom scale feedback from patients to therapists. This must be provided on a regular basis (that is, at least every three months or more frequently) and in real time (that is, immediately or soon before or during a clinical encounter). In contrast to usual care, asynchronous feedback from symptom scales did not lead to improved outcomes for specialty mental health patients who were randomly assigned to usual care or intervention that fed back self-reported symptoms to their provider midway through treatment (34).
Although many clinicians and patients have been advocating the use of measurement based care for decades, it remains underused with only about 18% of psychiatrists and 11% of psychologists regularly implementing symptom rating scales. However, the evidence base for its effectiveness is growing, and its benefits to clients and providers are widely expected.
The VA is a leader in developing and implementing MBC practices for behavioral health. In fact, 75% of VA facilities currently use software developed by Dr. David Oslin to track patient outcomes in a standardized manner.
A systematic and objective assessment is critical to ensuring that mental health services are effective and deliver value to payers, especially as we move into an increasingly accountable healthcare environment. It is also essential for reducing costs and increasing efficiency, promoting patient engagement, and enabling clinical decision making.
MBC is a cost-effective way to provide mental health care, and it can be easily integrated into existing care models for clients in need of support with a variety of disorders. Nevertheless, it can be difficult for providers to adopt MBC without adequate resources and training.
In order for measurement-based care to be successful, it must be consistent with patient preferences and able to meet the demands of patients, providers, and payors. It also must be scalable, with the potential to extend treatment across a large population of patients.
Clinicians and patients alike are receptive to measurement-based care because it provides timely symptom data and increases the quality of clinical interactions with patients. It also enhances communication between clinicians and patients, which in turn facilitates increased adherence to treatment and positive outcomes.
Displaying measurement-based care information can be challenging and complex, presenting clinicians with many options for how to present data. Some data displays are very visual, such as graphs or charts of depression or posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms over time. Others use more textual methods, such as a series of questions or text descriptions of the symptoms.