Dec 28, 2022

3 key benefits of outcomes data in behavioral health

The current state of behavioral health in the United States is unprecedented. In its most recent data, Mental Health America estimates more than half of adults with mental illness don’t receive treatment, totaling over 27 million U.S. adults. At the same time, therapists say they can’t keep up with the demand for their services.

But the number of Americans needing mental health support isn’t the only issue. Ensuring patients receive high-quality care is essential amidst workforce shortages, clinician burnout, administrative barriers, and often unsatisfactory fee-for-service reimbursement models.

Fortunately, the news isn’t all bad. Behavioral health organizations understand the importance of measurement-based care and are starting to use outcomes data to reduce waitlists, optimize treatment, and improve clinical outcomes. In 2023 and beyond, innovative technology will play a central role in giving behavioral health organizations and their clinicians the tools necessary for organization-wide improvements. (Want to learn more about measurement-based care? Watch this free, 25-minute educational webinar presented by Owl Chief Clinical Officer, Jason Washburn, Ph.D., ABPP).

Aurora Mental Health Center, a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) with a broad array of mental health services in Aurora, Colorado, is committed to using measurement-based care to solve many of today’s challenges in behavioral health. Below are three key benefits they’ve discovered since partnering with Owl:

  1. Clients are highly engaged, improving therapeutic alliance and reducing time to remission

Aurora Mental Health Center achieves an 87% patient engagement rate–reaching as high as 95% of clients completing all measures assigned to them. Clients at Aurora Mental Health Center are deeply engaged in their own care and get deeper insight and understanding of their symptomatology and progress, improving therapeutic alliance and reducing time to remission.

  1. Clients get better, faster

Clients at Aurora Mental Health Center who use measurement-based care with Owl see a 56% faster time to remission compared to clients who don’t. Additionally, the combination of Aurora Mental Health Center clinical care with consistent use of Owl leads to 29% of incoming clients with a severe risk stratification having clinically-significant improvement by week 6 of treatment.

  1. Aurora Mental Health Center can expand access with existing resources

Not only are clients at Aurora Mental Health Center getting better faster, but the organization also has data insights to help understand patients who have reached remission and recovery and are now potential candidates for stepped-down care or discharge. For example, in August 2022, 30% of visits were for patients below the clinical cut-off for four or more months. The data presents an opportunity to discharge or step-down clients from care to open appointments for people on their waitlist.

“We believe that infusing measurement-based care into our practice with Owl and getting beyond just measuring outcomes gives the clinician the opportunity to actually use the data in real-time to impact the outcomes of treatment,” said Kathie Snell, MA, Chief Strategy and Operations Officer at Aurora Mental Health Center. “We can also now look more broadly across our system and see the results of using measurement-based care in those outcomes.”

Technology that captures, reports, and helps organizations use outcomes data is an important step toward solving many of today’s challenges in behavioral health. A measurement-based care platform like Owl provides a path forward for providers and health networks eager for an evidence-based approach to improve care and better measure outcomes.

Learn more in this free, on-demand webinar about how Aurora Mental Health Center uses outcomes data—including best practices for selecting a partner for measurement-based care, implementation best practices, and results they’ve seen.

And, read the full case study here.

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