By Beverly Hansen, RN, MBA on Mon, Oct 3, 2022
While most treatment plans are based on information gathered during sessions, measurement-based mental health care bases treatment on specific data collected regularly. This is often through client evaluations in the office as well as through digital training and assessments in between sessions.
How Measurement-Based Care can Help Clinicians Measure the Impact of Treatment
In the past, this has been difficult to track. The methods used vary from clinician to clinician. And while most treatment plans are measurable, they are still reliant on how the patient is feeling and thinking on the day they come into the office.
How can measurement-based care help?
When using a measurement-based care platform, you can see their day-to-day progress. In the office, the patient may say they’re doing much better one week, but the next, not so much. It can be hard to see where the disconnect is.
According to therapist Amber Peterson MA, LCSWA, one of the most challenging things when helping patients is consistency. Getting accurate and consistent information can be difficult as patients may not remember exactly how they felt after a whole week between sessions.
Of course, there is no blame to be found in the patient for this, but measurement-based care can help bridge the gap between the work done in the office and the issues that may come up outside.
It takes the guesswork out for your patient.
No matter what treatment plan you prefer, when using a measurement-based care platform, you as the clinician can see the progress being made and use it as a tool in conjunction with the treatment plan you already use.
But what about the patient? How does this help them? Because the data is collected and laid out clearly, you can show your patient their progress, encouraging them to input more data as well as boosting their motivation and overall morale.
How does this work?
Combined with techniques you already know are effective, measurement-based care can help build an effective, data-driven strategy based on where your patient is at.
It does this by screening for potential mental health issues and will show a red flag if there’s a potential risk. The difference is that a platform like Total Brain will also measure other brain capacities like stress, focus, memory, etc., allowing you to correlate how those areas might impact the risk for the patient.
Over time, you will be able to see if the treatment plan is working or not and make adjustments accordingly.
Benefits of Measurement-Based Care Using Digital Platforms
Having patients enter data regularly can help to level out any inconsistencies. Patients, when given a screener in the office, will answer questions differently based on nerves, how their day is going, etc. When given a chance to answer from home, they are encouraged to give honest answers without the pressure of someone waiting on them to finish.
Digital platforms allow for assessments to be personalized based on the patient’s issues while still using standardized instruments such as the PHQ-9 and GAD-7.
Is there more to measurement-based care than just digital screeners?
Now that we’ve covered how measurement-based care can help on the screener side of things, what can it help beyond that?
In addition to screening for risk of a mental health condition, the Total Brain platform offers the benefit of evaluating each of the patient's twelve brain capacities to better understand what areas might impact their mental health.
This took years of research and development. But with it, clinicians can dive deeper into the neuro-psych aspect of the client’s strengths and weaknesses that otherwise would be extremely difficult to get.
Using this as a tool paints a clear picture of what is happening inside your patient’s head and can further help you develop the most effective and personalized treatment plan for your patient.
How to Implement Measurement-Based Care With Digital Platforms into Your Practice
While all clinicians measure and track their patient’s progress through treatment plans, most have still yet to discover how digital platforms can improve the process–and that’s okay! Measurement-based care with digital platforms is still new to the scene, and branching out in this area might seem daunting.
To help with that, here are a few questions you will want to ask and things to consider before implementing this kind of platform into your practice.
- Where do you find your treatment plan could use a boost? Knowing this will help you find one that fits your needs in the best way possible.
- Is the platform inclusive? This is a no-brainer and is likely second nature for you to look out for–still, it’s worth mentioning. Keep a lookout for who the target patient is. Are they inclusive for everyone or geared towards a specific group?
- Is the platform user-friendly?There is nothing worse than a faulty app when struggling with mental health. Ensure that the measurement-based care platform you give to your clients is easy to set up and simple to use.
Setting up and adding patients.
Once you have chosen a measurement-based care platform, add your patients by having them download the app. It will walk you through how to link their account to your clinician account.
The app will send them reminders to input their data, so there’s no need to worry about reminding them.
Before implementing any platform into your practice, be sure to look into what tools it uses. Platforms like Total Brain screen for the seven most common health conditions using PHQ-9 and GAD-7 and will alert you if one pops up.
Because all the information is tracked with Total Brain and well documented, you can quickly gather anything you need for billing and insurance.
Therapy and treatment plans are incredibly personal and look different for every patient. Any platform integrated into your practice should understand that and do its best to help you achieve the best results.
If you would like to see how Total Brain has helped treatment centers better assess and treat patients, check out this case study!
Or reach out to us to request a Demo to learn more about how Total Brain can help you.