Utilizing Measurement-Based Care to Optimize Behavioral Health Outcomes

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By Liz Jones, VP, Clinical Strategy

The journey toward improved mental health and well-being has often been plagued by elusive and subjective markers. Traditional methods of assessing mental health outcomes relied heavily on the clinician’s observations and patient self-reports, leading to a lack of precision and the potential for misinterpretation. This ambiguity in gauging progress and meaningful change in treatment has posed a significant hurdle to providing effective and tailored care. 

Today, more behavioral health professionals are adopting measurement-based care (MBC), an approach that emphasizes the standardized use of data and routine measurement tools to inform and guide the delivery of mental health care. Unlike conventional methods that rely heavily on subjective observation, MBC enables a systematic and evidence-based framework designed to objectively assess and monitor clinical outcomes as well as inform adjustments to treatment interventions throughout a patient’s health journey. 

What is measurement-based care (MBC)? 

At its core, MBC involves the use of standardized and validated measurement tools, including self-reported questionnaires, clinician-administered assessments, digital monitoring applications, and other relevant data points to track the progress of individuals undergoing behavioral health treatment. This continuous measurement allows clinicians to tailor interventions to individual needs and optimize the effectiveness of mental health care — all in shared collaboration with patients. 

Liz Jones

“Measurement-based care is critical to driving overall health outcomes and associated with improved outcomes and cost reductions.”

Liz Jones – VP, Clinical Strategy

One of the key strengths of MBC is its ability to inform treatment decisions. If data indicates a lack of progress or a deterioration in mental health, clinicians can promptly adjust treatment plans, whether they involve medication adjustments, changes in therapeutic approaches, or additional support services. Similarly, objective data of a patient’s experience in treatment can proactively identify misalignment and inform and strengthen the therapeutic alliance. By systematically reviewing and collaborating on individual progress and response to interventions, clinicians deliver more personalized, targeted and efficacious care. 

Measurement-based care is key to tracking outcomes

Measurement-based care is critical to driving overall health outcomes. Overall, MBC is associated with improved outcomes and cost reductions. Research shows patients who received feedback had a 3.5 times greater chance ratio of experiencing reliable change than those who did not receive feedback, as well as a reduction in symptoms and drop-out rates.  

Tech solutions must implement MBC for success

Integrated technology solutions like  Lucet’s Navigate & Connect can support provider adoption of MBC through tech-enabled delivery models with easy-to-use progress dashboards and tracking. With over 25 years of development and over 14 million assessments delivered, the solution includes Lucet’s proprietary and clinically validated Behavioral Health Index (BHI®), distinguished from typical measures by covering subjective well-being and functioning in addition to symptoms. The BHI’s global and human-centric approach identifies people experiencing total clinical distress, supporting a more complete picture of overall therapeutic process.

Lucet’s suite of measurement-based care tools enables health plans and their networked providers to gain access to real-time, granular insights into member progress, care quality and outcomes. By providing the tools to continuously measure the progress of patients, Navigate & Connect enables clinicians to balance the tension between information-gathering and patient experience, promoting data-driven treatment dialogues to both tailor interventions to individual needs and optimize outcomes — and pave the way to value-based care.  

Liz Jones is VP, clinical strategy at Lucet, The Behavioral Health Optimization Company.

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