Customed Outcomes Measurement in Organizations

William H. Berman, Ph.D., President

Stephen W. Hurt, Ph.D., Executive Vice-President

Behavioral Health Outcomes Systems ( BHOS, Inc.)

Outcomes measurement needs to become a standard part of clinical procedures and quality assurance/improvement, much as medical records are at present. To accomplish this, the methodology needs to become standardized and routinized so that the act of measurement is no more onerous than record keeping is in current mental health systems. This paper begins with an outline of the major operational issues encountered in implementing outcomes systems. Data collection, data entry and verification, and data management concerns are highlighted. It then illustrates these issues with case study data from the implementation of outcomes systems in several different types of systems, using both in-house and outsourced procedures for managing data. Finally it presents a discussion of some of the most pressing issues in outcomes measurement, including disease-based versus omnibus sampling, monitoring data completeness, and the best procedures for post-treatment follow-up.

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