Behavioral health is lagging behind other fields when it comes to utilizing objective measures for assessment, but research has shown that this practice can have a significant impact on both patient and provider outcomes. As a result, mental health providers should be using this approach more frequently.
Using Measurement Based Care in Mental Health
As with other medical conditions, behavioral health providers should be monitoring patients’ treatment progress throughout their treatment. This is commonly referred to as “treatment to target.” It’s important to track a patient’s treatment and ensure that they are meeting their treatment goals. This will allow for timely adjustments to their medication plan and therapy sessions if necessary.
The key to this approach is a robust system that automates patient data collection and allows for easy access. Many practices use EHR platforms like CarePaths that have built-in tools for measurement based care mental health These solutions allow providers to quickly re-measure patient symptoms during their visits, making it simple to track treatment progress.
Developing a Symptom Screening Program
One of the biggest challenges clinicians face is determining which treatments work best for individual patients. This is especially true with pharmacological interventions, as there are no biological markers to indicate which medications will help a particular patient.
But this problem can be solved with a well-crafted symptom screening program that is implemented regularly and consistently. By assessing patients’ symptoms using standardized, validated rating scales, clinicians can get an objective perspective on their patients’ condition, and determine whether the treatment is working or not.
Moreover, using symptom rating scales can help patients better understand their condition and become more self-aware of their symptoms. This can be an essential step toward preventing relapse or worsening symptoms.
The more often a clinician uses symptom rating scales, the better they are at identifying signs of relapse or worsening symptoms and guiding patients towards effective treatment plans. In fact, a randomized controlled trial found that integrating symptom rating scales into the therapy process improves patients’ overall treatment results.
A Symptom Screening Platform That Streamlines the MBC Process
When used correctly, symptom rating scales can make the entire MBC process run more smoothly. This can save time, reduce the risk of errors, and provide a more personalized experience for both the client and provider.
This is possible by automatically analyzing the data and providing alerts for any problems or potential issues. This gives the clinician and their team a clearer picture of what’s working, what isn’t, and how to fix it.
Developing a Symptom Rating Scales Toolkit
To build a successful MBC program, the clinician needs to have a strong foundation in symptom screening and know what scales to use. The Blueprint platform offers a suite of symptom rating scales for mental health that can be used by clinicians to effectively monitor their patients’ progress.
Creating Outcome Measures That Matter
Outcome measures are essential to any practice. They measure the results of a treatment, and can help with both patient satisfaction and revenue. They can also prove to payors that a behavioral health program makes an impact in a meaningful way and encourage them to invest more in the program.