3 Ways Data Can Help Advance Equitable and Integral Behavioral Healthcare

As the healthcare industry faces increasing staff shortages, compliance demands, increased demand for services and pressure to keep up with technological innovations, many providers are overwhelmed with the burden of navigating massive amounts of health data. Fortunately, technology can be used to streamline data collection and provide relevant information that helps providers make informed decisions at the point of care.

At NatCon22, the largest conference on mental health and addiction treatment, behavioral health leaders Michelle Patriquin of the Menninger Clinic and Danny Gladden of Cerner discussed the role of data in helping behavioral health organizations to deliver effective care, maintain compliance, and inform advocacy and policy. Here are three key points from their conversation.

  • 1. Data can improve behavioral health treatment, outcomes
  • Actionable behavioral health data can be a game-changer for patient outcomes. Standardized tools are essential to help clinicians monitor data progression or regression during an intervention or an episode of care. When data is connected, accessible, and easy to digest, patients can be more active in their health and wellbeing, and providers can personalize treatment to drive specific outcomes.

    “In mental health care, data seems so far removed from the wonderful experience with the patient. At the Menninger Clinic, we use data to help at all levels, including the patient level. We use a variety of self-report tools and measures on things like psychological flexibility, emotional regulation, and symptoms over time, and then use that data on a weekly basis as part of their care. – Michelle Patriquin, MD

  • 2. Data can strengthen suicide prevention efforts
  • Unfortunately, the number of deaths by suicide is extremely high after discharge from psychiatric hospitals. The Menninger Clinic examined the relationship between all suicide outcomes in people admitted to hospital: ideation, attempt, and death. Inpatient psychiatric facilities can help combat this troubling issue by using technology to be more proactive in measuring outcomes. For example, every 90 days, behavioral health organizations screen one million net new patients using the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS), an assessment tool that assesses suicidal ideation and behavior in the Cerner electronic health record. Additionally, Menninger Clinic researchers measure data to predict suicide risk and help clinicians provide meaningful, evidence-based care.

    “On the road to zero suicide, we need to standardize suicide assessment. Integrated behavioral health solutions can help make this possible by connecting behavioral health venues to primary care, acute care, medicine-surgery, to oncology and all specialties around the world.” –Danny Gladen

  • 3. Data can help organizations address the social determinants of health
  • Social determinants, such as access and quality of health care, environment, economic stability, access and quality of education, and social and community context are a critical component of actual interventions. In fact, 10% to 20% of health outcomes are related to medical interventions – the remaining 80% to 90% are related to where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship and age. . When talking about mental health and addiction, we need to tell the story of a whole person, from primary care to acute health to behavioral health, with health equity as the driving force.

    Many health officials have access to valuable data that can impact programs and services for the most vulnerable communities. Our industry has a responsibility to use data to advocate at the local, state, and federal levels for equity and improved quality of life for the people we serve.

    “It is our responsibility in this area to constantly advocate for the most vulnerable in our communities, not only so that others feel the same level of excitement and enthusiasm, but also to understand the need to fully fund our programs. and services and to ensure that we represent not only equal access, but also equity in health for all those we serve.” –Danny Gladen

Cerner Integrated Behavioral Health uses data-driven preventative solutions and services to help providers deliver high-quality, personalized care to people in need. Learn more.