what is measurement based care (MBC) is a clinical process where mental health clinicians and their clients use patient-reported outcome measures to track progress, inform treatment decisions, and individualize ongoing care. It is a powerful tool for improving client outcomes and improving collaborative communication between providers and patients.
MBC is based on routine outcome assessment and uses validated symptom rating scales to detect lack of symptom improvement and progress toward goals, and it also incorporates timely adjustments to medications and counseling if an outcome does not occur. Several randomized controlled trials have shown that MBC significantly improves client outcomes, with the primary benefits being a reduction in symptom deterioration and quicker detection of patients who require additional care.
Psychiatrists and psychologists who are familiar with measurement-based care consider it an important component of their clinical practices. It is a core element of many evidence-based practices and frameworks that can be added to any treatment program or course of care.
The most common way that a MBC practice begins is by using one or more general symptom rating scales for screening purposes, and then continuing to use them over time to track progress towards specific treatment goals. These ratings provide insight into what the therapist has learned about the patient’s symptom severity and can help to focus their workup.
Measuring a patient’s response to therapy is the key to achieving long-term success with measurement-based care. It’s also a proven method to help improve patient engagement and encourage them to participate in their own therapy.
There are numerous tools that can be used for MBC, including rating scales, functional assessment instruments, and questionnaires. These tools can be tailored to each client’s needs and can be used in a variety of settings, such as primary care clinics or community behavioral health organizations.
It is essential that the rating scales used for MBC are valid, practical, and norm-referenced. These qualities ensure that a clinician can be confident that the feedback provided by the symptom rating scales will have a direct impact on the treatment being provided to a patient.
In addition, it is essential that the rating scales be accessible and easy to administer. They should be quick to complete and have a user-friendly format that can be completed by anyone.
MBC can be facilitated by a robust electronic health record system that automates and integrates all the information from the patient’s care into a single dashboard. This type of system saves time and money by allowing clinicians to chart their results across multiple programs and make reports readily available to support value-based reimbursements.
Implementation of a measurement-based care program can be challenging, especially for therapists who are not used to using a systematic approach to measuring the progress of their patients. In addition, they may feel hesitant to use a digital measurement tool due to concerns about workflow and interoperability with their EHR systems, the limitations of data monitoring in reimbursement, and the potential risks associated with data privacy and security.