Opportunities to improve measurement-based care practices in mental health care systems: A case example of electronic mental health screening and measurement.

Introduction: Measurement-based care (MBC) involves the systematic collection of data to inform clinical decision-making and monitor treatment outcomes. In addition to benefitting patients and providers, data on MBC implementation can also be used to inform quality improvement efforts within existing health care systems. Method: The method was retrospective chart review. We collected data on electronic mental health (MH) screens and symptom measures recorded by MH providers. Patients were 28,376 veterans who received MH services in a northeastern region. Results: Although rates varied by MH condition and clinic type, screening for alcohol misuse, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder appeared to occur with regularity. MH symptom measurement was less frequent than screening but included measures of alcohol and substance use, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and suicidal ideation. Patient demographics (e.g., age, military service era, sex, MH diagnosis) and frequency of clinic contact emerged as significant predictors of symptom measurement. Discussion: In this article, we illustrate how data on MH screening and measurement can be organized, analyzed, and interpreted to identify opportunities to enhance MBC practices in MH care. We conclude with a discussion of how large data set analyses can contribute to programmatic MBC initiatives. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)