What Is Measurement Based Care?

measurement based care mental health is the practice of systematically collecting and using brief, validated patient self-report questionnaires to assess progress in the treatment of mental health disorders. This includes assessing and tracking the symptoms of depression, anxiety, alcohol use, and other issues that can be treated with psychotherapy or medication.

It can also be used to monitor changes in cognitive function such as memory, attention, language, and executive functioning in patients with brain injuries or disorders. This can provide insights about the effectiveness of the treatment process, helping neuropsychologists make adjustments to the plan if needed.

In addition to being a powerful tool for clinical decision making, measurement based care is also an important way to improve the experience of clinicians and patients who have mental health conditions. It can help reduce burnout in the field by improving outcomes and providing a more positive work environment.

There is a growing demand for accurate assessments and outcome measures in the healthcare industry, especially as payers shift from fee-for-service to value-based models. Payors have increasingly started to require empirical data about the effectiveness of behavioral health care treatments.

These results can be used to demonstrate that behavioral health treatment is effective, and can provide a platform for providers to demonstrate the value of the services they deliver. This can lead to increased reimbursement for services and ultimately increase the quality of care delivered in mental health.

This can also help to break down the stigma of mental illness, which can be a big obstacle for patients seeking treatment. Moreover, measurement based care can help to promote client-centered care, as it can show that the client is being evaluated and if symptoms worsen or change, the therapist can adjust the therapy accordingly.

While there are many benefits to implementing measurement based care, there are also many challenges associated with its implementation. For example, it can be difficult to find a provider willing to implement measurement based care (MBC), there may be concerns about additional effort and EHR complexity, and there may be low patient engagement.

The majority of behavioral health providers aren’t utilizing MBC due to these barriers, but it is possible to overcome them. The key is to create a workflow that minimizes these problems, including avoiding one-time screening and integrating MBC into clinical encounters where possible.

Symptoms and severity fluctuate between sessions, so it’s crucial to collect symptom data regularly during the course of therapy. Rather than mail out questionnaires every few months, it’s best to have clients fill them out during their session and have feedback discussed at the time of each session. This synchronous, face-to-face feedback is more likely to lead to improvements in the presenting problem, and it also supports care coordination across clinical spaces and with other service providers.

It can be challenging to implement MBC, especially when there are many competing demands in the clinic and office setting. However, it’s critical to take the time to create a smooth, efficient workflow that can integrate MBC seamlessly into the clinic and office.