Why Measurement-Based Care is Critical
Measurement-based care (MBC) can be defined as the practice of basing clinical care on data collected throughout treatment. MBC is considered a core component of numerous evidence-based practices and frameworks that can be added to any treatment.
Traditional physical health has measurement, and so should behavioral health.
Treatment: Insulin, Dietary Changes, Medication.
Treatment: Medical Procedures, Exercise, Stress Management.
Anxiety & Depression
Treatment: CBT, Integrated Care, Mindfulness, Medication.
Enhancing Behavioral Health With Measurement-Based Care
NeuroFlow derives insights from assessment results and other key data points to help you better you understand your population and support their care journey. NeuroFlow’s engaging digital experience helps increase screening rates while delivering personalized and relevant content to meet individual needs.
Surface behavioral health conditions proactively before they escalate
Empower care teams with the best next steps for care based on a combination of data points
Enhance care team productivity and collaboration with the data they need to best support patients
In behavioral health, MBC is powered by validated rating scales which take the form of brief questionnaires. These are often administered to patients at intake and periodically throughout their treatment. Questionnaires allow clinicians to understand how a patient is progressing and whether there is remission in conditions like depression or anxiety.
Rating scales typically screen for a specific behavioral health condition like anxiety or depression. Some common rating scales include:
GAD-7 – Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale
PHQ-9 – Patient Health Questionnaire, depression module
WHO-5 – World Health Organization 5 Well-Being Index
At NeuroFlow, we provide over 20 questionnaires, including those listed above. We also measure other forms of patient-generated data that inform well-being, like sleep and mood ratings. We’re constantly adding more assessment capabilities to our platform to improve insights for care providers and better engage the individuals who use our platform.
Regular measurement of patients’ behavioral health means more timely interventions and better treatment. That leads to fewer behavioral health crises and improved well-being for patients. Specifically, MBC improves behavioral healthcare in the following ways:
Provides unbiased data
Having a standard, clinically-vetted rating scale translates certain subjective experiences into measurable data that care providers can act on. Not all behavioral health indicators can be quantified in this way, but establishing a baseline and having a standard frame of reference helps care providers more easily assess the severity of behavioral health conditions.
Informs effective treatment
With greater insight into patients’ behavioral health, care providers can offer more effective and personalized treatment and share insights across care teams. MBC insights can help determine medication dosage, intervention plans, or match patients with the right care provider.
Increases patient engagement
When MBC is done right, care providers regularly engage their patients which improves the quantity and quality of data collection. This can help providers deliver interventions earlier and provide more effective preventative care. It also means patients can receive the right resources and tools to drive improved self-care in between appointments.
Despite the benefits, many care providers struggle to embrace MBC when managing the behavioral health of their populations. According to research from the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, some common barriers to implementing MBC include lack of knowledge to execute MBC, lack of clarity on the clinical utility, and the administrative burden.
Here are a few of the other common barriers we hear from our partners at NeuroFlow:
Behavioral health questionnaires aren’t administered regularly
Particularly in a primary care setting, providers may only see their patients once a year. If that is the case, routine assessments may not be possible, and MBC will be far less effective.
Patients’ behavioral health data is not easily accessible
Many providers collect assessment data via paper questionnaires which they may or may not transfer to an EHR. Manual data collection makes centralizing and analyzing patient data much more difficult and time-consuming, limiting the positive impacts of MBC.
Patient-reported data may not be accurate
Some patients may not feel comfortable sharing their behavioral health challenges in a doctor’s office, particularly a primary care office where they may not seek out behavioral health support. As a result, providers may collect inaccurate or biased data that doesn’t reflect the actual well-being of their patients.
The next steps for treatment aren’t always clear
While MBC is a great tool for tracking patient progress and overall health, it may not be clear for some providers what level of care is most appropriate. In the primary care setting, providers may not have the resources or expertise to support a patient. Referring to a specialist is the norm, but many patients may never see that specialist or drop out of treatment all together.
It’s time for measurement-based care in behavioral health to get an upgrade; fortunately, technology can solve some of the inefficient processes care providers navigate today. Delivering questionnaires digitally to a patient’s preferred device allows providers to measure patient progress regularly and collect more accurate data. Storing patient data on a centralized platform ensures providers never miss important changes in patients’ health. And finally, a robust digital behavioral health platform can analyze questionnaire scores, connecting patients with appropriate resources or, alternatively, refer them to a care manager for intervention.
NeuroFlow’s solution helps providers achieve all of the above. We strive to simplify behavioral health care so that every patient receives the right level of care at the right time. Our platform works with providers to regularly engage their populations through our app. Often the first activities individuals receive on the app are rating scales like PHQ-9 or GAD-7. Depending on an individual’s responses, NeuroFlow will tailor behavioral health curriculum to support her specific needs. The platform delivers validated assessments regularly to track progress, and that data is stored centrally in our cloud-based patient registry which integrates directly with providers’ EHR.
NeuroFlow also makes it easy to determine the level of care each patient requires. Using assessment data and other validated metrics, NeuroFlow creates a unique severity score, to develop a baseline for individuals and triage accordingly. Providers then receive alerts when a spike in severity scores occurs or patients are at risk and intervention is required.
MBC in behavioral health doesn’t have to be complicated. With the right technology to deliver assessments, provide patient insights, and guide next steps, providers can better serve their populations and ensure no single patient falls through the cracks.
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