Healthcare providers routinely use measurement to determine physical health, but according to Psychiatry Online, only 11% of psychologists and 18% of psychiatrists apply a rating system during their routine mental healthcare practice. In mental health and substance disorder care, about 95% of measures used to assess quality in health plans, or that become the basis for reimbursement incentives, are all process measures. However, despite its infrequent use, measurement-based care (MBC) is a proven, powerful tool for improving treatment outcomes. This explains why it's used by the nation's largest integrated healthcare system: the Veterans Health Administration, a component of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Mental illness affects millions of people every year, making it challenging for them to enjoy everyday life and maintain recovery. The good news is that most common mental health disorders are treatable.
nView Health recently hosted a virtual panel discussion where behavioral health experts discussed the current challenges and opportunities for healthcare providers around behavioral healthcare. Among the topics these industry leaders discussed was the importance of using a variety of tools to help support patients’ behavioral health needs.
Devising the right system for measurement in healthcare is challenging but also extremely important. Systems of measurement provide the foundation for health screening, assessing treatment progress, and monitoring whether progress is maintained. When data can be examined by patient demographics and over time, the right measures can help researchers identify whether an intervention is of value to certain populations. Data also helps decrease unwarranted variation in care (diagnosis and treatment), which according to Walters Kluwer accounts for at least 25%, and possibly up to 65%, of the costs.
Behavioral health assessments are one way for clinicians to obtain a more complete picture of a person’s behavioral health and functioning. These assessments, different from mental health screenings, usually consist of a combination of tools that, when considered together, can provide a better understanding of patients, their symptoms, and their life situations. Common behavioral health assessment tools include psychological tests and screeners, clinical interviews, mental health observations, personal and social histories, and clinical record reviews.