Measurement based care is a type of mental health treatment that allows providers to objectively gauge patient progress and treat patients more effectively. It’s also been shown to increase patient engagement and lead to better outcomes, especially for those who didn’t respond well to traditional therapy in the past.
Measurements are a key component of all aspects of life, from telling time to taking medicine and measuring body weights and areas. They are even used to determine the quantity of different substances.
The most basic measurement tools are thermometers and scales, but there are more complex devices such as brainwave evoked potential and electroencephalography (EEG). They are helpful to perform tasks such as estimating the time it takes to walk from one place to another or determining the amount of medicine a person needs to take.
They also help us understand our own physical and mental wellbeing and that of those around us. They are critical to our health and the way we approach treatment, but they aren’t always readily available.
When we think about the benefits of measurements, they are easy to see: They allow for more efficient use of clinical time and provide insight into how a patient is responding to treatment.
However, they can come with unexpected challenges. For example, if the measurements vary substantially from time to time, then we can’t be sure of how reliable they are.
That’s why it’s important to have a range of measurement tools and methods that are responsive enough to work with your specific population.
Reliability is a fundamental concept in measurement, as it ensures that the numbers we get from the instruments we use will remain consistent throughout time.
In healthcare, the importance of measurement is even more apparent, as it plays a vital role in determining how successful a particular treatment or service has been. It can tell us if a patient is getting better or worse, if a provider is meeting their quota of patient visits, and if they are spending the time that matters most to their patients.
Outcome measures are the most widely used type of measure in healthcare. They are calculated by combining item scores and are used to track changes over time in various constructs, such as activity limitation or pain levels.
The most important challenge in developing outcome measures is making them more responsive to changes over time. This requires the selection of reliable instruments that include a variety of items dealing with aspects of the construct that are likely to change and then scoring those instruments to account for improvements and decrements.
This can be challenging, but it’s essential for effective healthcare delivery.
Using a variety of outcome measures to track a patient’s treatment over time is a common practice in many medical practices, but the behavioral health industry has been slower to adopt this technique.
There are several reasons for this. First, it can be difficult to get a large number of practitioners to embrace measurement-based care. It can be a costly change for many providers to make and can require significant investment in training and resources.