what is measurement based care is a behavioral health strategy that involves the systematic administration of symptom rating scales, charting outcomes over time and using this data to inform beginning and ongoing treatment decisions. It is a form of patient-centered treatment that has been shown to improve outcomes and empowers clients.
Getting Started With Measurement-Based Care
One of the biggest barriers to using measurement-based care is not knowing how to implement it into a practice. Clinicians often have to create an ad-hoc system of tracking scores and trends, which can take up valuable time in an already busy practice. The good news is that there are solutions.
The first is by using an electronic health record (EHR) like Valant to make it easier for clinicians and patients. The EHR is equipped with over 65 standardized rating scales, so there is no need for clinicians to create new ones or use spreadsheets. Once a score is completed, the information flows automatically into clinical notes as narrative, saving time and supporting higher-level coding when appropriate.
Providing Feedback and Insight to Clients
Another benefit of measurement-based care is that it helps provide better, more informed communication with clients. The data helps show where a client is falling behind, as well as how they’re improving. This can help clinicians understand how to tailor treatment to their clients’ needs and improve outcomes.
Frequent and timely feedback is essential for the success of measurement-based care. Research suggests that asynchronous feedback, such as via mail, is ineffective for reducing symptom deterioration and improving client outcomes. It’s much better for therapists to have their clients complete symptom rating scales at the start of sessions or right before. This ensures that the client is able to review their results as they’re happening, rather than waiting until the next appointment.
Integrated Data and Analytics for Clinicians
The use of outcome measures is becoming increasingly common in other areas of health care. As a result, healthcare payers are demanding more evidence of clinical progress. In fact, many insurance carriers are now willing to pay more for services if a provider can demonstrate that they are offering value-based care.
Using a robust EHR, such as Valant, helps clinicians easily manage the process of measuring and tracking progress throughout a treatment episode. The streamlined data collection and reporting capabilities enable clinicians to quickly identify gaps in care and make informed, data-driven decisions about how to improve outcomes.
In addition to a strong foundation in theory and empirical support, the use of measurement-based care is also supported by a growing number of large-scale pragmatic trials and clinical demonstration projects. These studies indicate that a combination of structured symptom rating scales and frequent and timely feedback to clinicians during medication management and psychotherapy sessions significantly improves outcomes. These results are especially important as the industry moves towards value-based reimbursement models. This is because it allows providers to get paid based on quality instead of quantity. This can lead to more successful outcomes for clients and reduced costs for clinics.