A National Call for Measurement-Based Care

Measurement-based care is routine practice throughout the medical and surgical fields – from blood pressure cuffs to A1c tests for diabetes. Yet today, only 18% of psychiatrists and 11% of psychologists routinely administer simple measurement tools, such as symptom rating scales, to monitor their patients’ progress.

As a result, millions of patients seeking help for their behavioral health disorders are missing important opportunities to have their treatments adjusted in a timely manner, possibly leading to worsening symptoms that may be going altogether undetected by their providers.

Our latest policy issue brief, “A National Call for Measurement-Based Care in the Delivery of Behavioral Health Services,”
 
underscores how these proven tools can significantly improve outcomes for individuals living with mental illness and addiction in our country.

With Measurement-Based Care, behavioral health providers are empowered to fine-tune treatment plans when patients are not improving, and patients who participate in rating their symptoms are likely to become more knowledgeable about their disorders, attune to their symptoms, and cognizant of the warning signs of relapse or reoccurrence, enabling them to better self-manage their illness and seek treatment without delay.

It is time to make Measurement-Based Care a standard in behavioral health.

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— Patrick J. Kennedy
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