what is measurement based care is the systematic administration of validated behavioral health outcome measures to assess patients, inform beginning and ongoing treatment decisions, and improve treatment outcomes. It is an established standard of practice in other areas of healthcare but is relatively new in the mental health sector.

It has been shown to significantly improve patient outcomes in psychiatry and is gaining traction among more and more behavioral health providers and clinics. However, many practitioners remain unfamiliar with it and are unsure of how to effectively implement it. This article aims to educate practitioners on what measurement based care is, how it benefits clients, and how to begin using it in their practice.

The Behavioral Health EHR That Takes the Barriers Out of Measuring Clients and Staff’s Outcomes

Using an Electronic Health Record (EHR) that is specifically built for behavioral healthcare automates the implementation and use of outcome measures to support effective MBC practices. Valant’s Behavioral Health EHR supports over 65 rating scales in a single, easy-to-use interface that allows clinicians to spend more time providing care.

The software automatically pushes outcomes data to clients and tracks them over time, allowing clinicians to chart quantitative outcomes and make informed clinical decisions. Moreover, the data can easily flow into narrative documentation to provide a better overall picture of the patient and their progress.

MBC Practices Can Benefit Clients, Clinicians, and Payers

MBC has become a key part of Collaborative Care, whereby clinics actively change treatment plans when symptoms are not improving as expected until the patient achieves clinical goals. This enables a greater focus on symptom reduction, ensuring the patient’s progress continues to improve.

This approach is a great way to ensure that patients are getting the best treatment possible and can be an integral component of value-based reimbursement programs, which require clinicians to show that they are providing quality care in order to receive higher payments.

It is a relatively new idea in the mental health sector but it has been used for decades in other areas of medicine to screen for common physical conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease. Similarly, it is becoming more common for primary care practices to include screening tools to help identify patients with behavioral health conditions.

For example, the VA’s MBC in Mental Health Initiative uses reliable and validated mental health outcome measures at regular intervals to track Veterans’ mental health conditions and tailor care to their specific needs.

The information from these measures is used to improve mental health, reduce healthcare costs, and enhance quality of life for Veterans. It has been found to be a cost-effective strategy, as the VA’s research shows that patients who receive regular assessment and treatment can expect to save up to 50% of their healthcare costs over those who don’t.

MBC is also a powerful tool for improving collaboration between clinicians and patients, ensuring that they have access to the same treatment goals and guiding the development of an individualized and effective plan for each patient.

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