Psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers who implement measurement based care experience higher treatment response rates and patient remission. They also spend less time treating patients and report higher satisfaction levels with their practices.
Measurement based care (MBC) uses repeat validated symptom rating scales to track client progress over time and drive clinical decisions. It is a core component of numerous evidence-based frameworks and treatments for mental health conditions, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Integrated Care, Mindfulness, medication management, and more.
The Kennedy Forum reports that MBC has been shown to improve clinical outcomes in a variety of research settings and is increasingly becoming the standard of practice in both private and public healthcare settings. Payors are placing increased scrutiny on objectively monitored behavioral healthcare, requiring empirical data to support value-based payment models and reimbursements.
To support a successful implementation of measurement based care, clinicians need an environment that can facilitate the collection and tracking of outcome measures. They also need to be comfortable with using symptom rating scales and other assessment tools.
In addition, they need a scalable EHR system that can automate the process of tracking outcomes. Valant’s Behavioral Health EHR provides easy-to-use, flexible, and scalable solutions to help clinicians deliver effective MBC.
How Measurement based Care Can Improve Your Practice
The goal of measurement based care is to provide timely feedback about the patient’s symptoms and to help therapists better understand what is happening with each individual’s treatment. However, many therapists still find it challenging to implement measurement based care due to a number of factors.
Traditionally, measurement based care is done through self-reporting, where patients are asked to fill out questionnaires at the beginning and end of each session. These forms, while useful, may not reflect the full spectrum of a patient’s functioning or the effects of treatment. Additionally, the process can be costly and time-consuming for therapists to administer.
A more efficient way to collect measurement based care data is to automatically push outcomes measures directly to the patient’s EHR. This allows a client’s progress to be recorded in their chart, where it can be viewed by the clinician. In addition, it can support coding and reporting.
It also helps therapists to understand which symptoms are more important for the client’s recovery and which ones are not. This helps therapists to develop more personalized treatment plans.
By integrating outcome measures into the treatment plan, MBC can also help clients become more engaged in their care. This can lead to improved patient compliance, higher satisfaction, and lower burnout.
Another advantage of measurement based care is that it can break down stigmas associated with mental illness and help to build a sense of community. This can make it easier for a patient to discuss their feelings and get the help they need.
It is essential for therapists to track the changes in their patients’ symptoms over time. This is especially crucial for chronic mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, where patients’ symptoms can fluctuate significantly from session to session. This is why it is important to regularly review symptom data with a patient, and not simply to send a survey every three months.