Three Reasons You Should Be Measuring Your Outcomes


In the digital era, it is crucial for behavioral health organizations to track their outcomes.

Measuring outcomes holds facilities accountable and allows them to improve, benefiting clinicians and patients alike.

Major accreditation agencies are recognizing the importance of outcome measurement tools being applied to adjust treatment plans more often than at intake and discharge. Selecting the appropriate tool is now one of their standards of care. Additionally, integrated electronic outcome measurement tools make it easier than ever to accomplish this.

Reason 1: Applying an Outcome Measurement is required for accreditation.

The most compelling reason to use the appropriate outcome measurement tools for many providers may be a pragmatic one: a provider must apply an evidence-based tool to adjust their treatment plans on an individual basis.

Industry accreditation organizations The Joint Commission, CARF and COA have all in recently added standardized outcome measurement tools to their requirements for accreditation.

  • The Joint Commission – The Joint Commission has required organizations to measure outcomes of care, treatment, or services as long as it has existed, but it will now require them to do this with standardized evidence-based instruments and tools. The Joint Commission emphasizes “measurement-based care and believes the new requirement “will help accredited customers meet the growing demand to demonstrate the value of their services and increase the quality of the care, treatment, or services they provide.”
  • CARF – CARF International, or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, also emphasized measurement-based care and electronic data tracking in their accreditation standards: “The Performance Measurement and Management standards require organizations to collect valid, reliable, complete, and accurate data in a variety of areas, including risk management; health and safety reports; field trends, including research findings, if applicable; and service delivery. These data are used to set relevant objectives, performance indicators, and performance targets related to both business function and service delivery.”
  • COA – Finally, COA—the Council on Accreditation—requires organizations to measure collective impact through a system-level Performance and Quality Improvement (PQI) process. COA describes these standards as “in support of achieving performance targets, program goals, client satisfaction, and positive client outcomes.”

Reason 2: Outcome measurement tools help you and your patients

Outcome measurement tools tell you how well you are helping your patients, and where you can improve. They help to rein in costs, and moreover they serve as a measure of value.

In addition to certification organizations, payers also emphasize a shift toward value-and-performance-based models. Payers are asking providers for proof that they used a measurement tool in their adjustment to a higher or lower level of care.

  • Cigna, Aetna, and U. S. Healthcare plan to increase value-based payments to as much as 90 percent of all reimbursement spending in the next few years (according to CARF)
  • State and federal mandates are pushing for value-based changes for Medicaid and Medicare coverage. SAMHSA has initiated a pilot program introduced value-based outcomes in eight states, requiring certified clinics to collect 21 measurable data points.

Reason 3: It’s easier than ever to measure outcomes

Juggling all these forms and data points can be a time-consuming hassle. But it doesn’t have to be. All-in-one electronic health records that integrate outcome measurement tools save you time and energy by putting everything into one intuitive workflow.

Take AZZLY Rize™ for example. Our Joint Commission-and-CARF compliant EHR solution offers Integrated Care Pathways specific to behavioral healthcare by providing a very individualized chronological medical record of each service or event provided during an episode of care.

By connecting a patient’s diagnosis, to medications (if any), to labs, to their individual treatment plan, to the selected outcome measurement tool for real-time auto scoring and relative risk display, helps in adjusting the patient’s goals in the treatment plan review, to adjusting the levels of care or frequency of services offered. To further filter and show a day, a week, a month, a quarter, a year view for an easy audit, one report can be very meaningful during a UR review, a chart audit and as important when calculating the improved clinical outcomes of the population that you serve.

AZZLY Rize provides a library of evidence-based outcome measurement tools, assessments and surveys, without additional cost, fully integrated in each patient chart, for you to keep track of your patients’ outcomes, make adjustments to their treatment plan goals, and keep an eye on quantitative measures of your success.

AZZLY Rize has multiple outcome measurement tools for mental health, addiction treatment, and eating disorders. Our goal is to make it easy. Contact us and we’ll send some free demos your way. Or you can schedule an appointment at your convenience and one of our EHR experts will give you a live, guided demonstration.

You may also be interested in another AZZLY blog post:What You Need to Know About Measurement Based Care”

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