Dec 1, 2023

8 tips for implementing measurement-based care throughout your behavioral health organization

How can you successfully implement MBC? Read eight practical tips from Dr. Olson, clinical director at Aurora Mental Health & Recovery.

Implementing any new technology within an organization is often met with various challenges and potential resistance. Similarly, transitioning to organization-wide measurement-based care (MBC) requires careful planning and execution for successful change management. To understand the nuances of successful implementation, we spoke with Amber Olson, Ph.D., a clinical director at Aurora Mental Health & Recovery. Dr. Olson shared invaluable insights and practical tips that helped Aurora successfully deploy measurement-based care with Owl into their operational framework.

  1. Think about implementation as change management

Beyond the mere adoption of a new tool, Dr. Olson emphasizes the significance of perceiving implementation as a change management process. As she puts it, “It’s not just about using a new technology; it’s about transforming the way our clinicians practice on a day-to-day basis.” Garnering support from clinicians and clinical managers is crucial. Dr. Olson adds, “Getting buy-in from our clinicians and managers is essential. We have a diverse community to serve, and change management can be challenging.”

  1. Start small

Aurora Mental Health & Recovery initiated their MBC journey with a small pilot program. Dr. Olson strategically selected stable teams with positive attitudes to “test the waters.” The encouraging results from the pilot motivated the staff and paved the way for a smoother system-wide implementation.

  1. Consider integrating with your EHR after starting implementation

Integrating Owl with their existing electronic health record (EHR) system was a pivotal step for Aurora for their long-term implementation. Short-term, they started with a standalone approach to evaluate workflows and gather essential feedback before integrating with their EHR to ensure a smoother integration.

  1. Map how Owl and your EHR will integrate in different situations

Understanding the intricacies of integration, Dr. Olson and her team at Aurora meticulously devised multiple use-cases to map out how Owl and their EHR would interact to complete various activities. These use-cases addressed various potential scenarios and challenges, ensuring a smoother integration process. Their proactive approach minimized disruptions and streamlined the transition to a cohesive MBC system.

  1. Continue to expand using a team-by-team approach

Acknowledging the diverse needs of their 22 clinical teams, Aurora adopted an approach that fit the different clinical service lines. Dr. Olson collaborated closely with directors and managers, tailoring the implementation process to suit each team’s unique requirements. While maintaining consistency across the organization, this team-by-team approach ensured that each department seamlessly integrated MBC into their workflow. 

  1. Be flexible with your timelines

Maintaining flexibility with roll-out timelines is crucial during the implementation of new systems. Dr. Olson’s approach at Aurora Mental Health & Recovery involved acknowledging unforeseen events within teams and allowing pauses in the process to address urgent matters. This adaptive strategy not only demonstrated a genuine understanding of her team’s challenges but also fostered a collaborative environment. This flexibility ultimately builds trust and reinforces the notion that the implementation process is a collaborative effort, rather than a top-down directive.

  1. Train new hires as part of onboarding

 Realizing the importance of comprehensive onboarding, Aurora integrated Owl training into their new hire orientation program. This proactive measure ensures that all new staff members are equipped with the necessary skills to utilize the MBC tool effectively.

  1. Once the foundation is set, consider the opportunities

With Owl fully integrated across the organization, Aurora Mental Health & Recovery has begun focusing on leveraging the wealth of data collected. Dr. Olson emphasizes the importance of enhancing the program and tailoring it further to meet the specific needs of their diverse clientele.

By implementing these well-thought-out strategies, Aurora Mental Health & Recovery has not only successfully integrated Owl into their operations but has also achieved remarkable outcomes in patient care. Their story serves as a testament to the effectiveness of a meticulously planned and executed MBC implementation strategy. To learn more about their journey and the impressive results they have achieved, we encourage you to delve deeper into how Aurora Mental Health & Recovery chose and utilized Owl in their pursuit of enhanced patient care by reading their case study here

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