There is nothing new about measurement-based care (MBC). It has been in wide use and proven effective in giving quality care to patients in general medicine. And according to Dr. Tonmoy Sharma, the concept works just the same in treatment programs designed for substance abuse and behavioral disorders.
Backed by his years of focused research on the subject, the Sovereign Health CEO said MBC could improve treatment outcomes. And to further support this assertion, Dr. Sharma has included the approach to Sovereign’s treatment process. In fact, the behavioral treatment company has placed its bet on MBC early, and it’s pretty rewarding that the bold move is paying off.
Inevitably, the Joint Commission took notice of Dr. Sharma’s efforts and adopted an official policy starting in 2018 that mandates the use of MBC on treatment centers as a prerequisite to win accreditation. The Sovereign chief welcomed and lauded the decision. He explained that carefully gathered data would boost the quality of care that mental and addiction patients will get.
The Sovereign CEO stressed: “It’s time for behavioral health treatment providers, especially in the area of addiction treatment, to function in the same way as their peers in the medical area.”
Dr. Sharma reiterated that medical professionals have been benefitting from MBC for decades. The method has been immensely helpful for many doctors as it allows them “to track patients’ progress through treatment and gauge the effectiveness of treatment modalities.”
The Benefits That MBC Will Bring
MBC makes good use of data collected during a treatment process in formulating a clinical care program for a specific patient. Dr. Sharma said MBC involves two essential methods: routine assessments or measuring the severity of symptoms with rating scales. He continued that these assessments will play a crucial role in the subsequent decision-making.
To show the distinct gain of deploying MBC over conventional care, the Sovereign chief had outlined the benefits of using the process in addiction and mental disorder treatments. His extensive research works showed that the method could:
- Improve psychotherapy outcomes
- Monitor symptom reduction in patients with psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and bipolar
- Identify patients who are improving and those who are deteriorating
- Improve role functioning, satisfaction with care, quality of care, and quality of life
- Enhance the therapeutic relationship and communication between providers and patients
- Improve collaborative care efforts among providers
- Improve the accuracy of clinical judgment
- Close the gap between research and practice, and move psychiatry into the mainstream of medicine
- Enhance the clinician’s decision-making process
- Enhance individualized treatment
- Be feasible to implement on a large scale
Does MBC Actually Work?
Dr. Sharma believes so, but to answer this question, a tool called the Behavior And Symptoms Identification Scale (BASIS-24®) was formulated and came into common use. Its purpose is to get snapshots or definite indicators if the treatment program leads to the improvement or deterioration of a given case. When administering BASIS-24®, it comprises 24 questions posed on patients before and after their residential treatment.
As for Sovereign’s experience with MBC, the care provider first used the treatment process in January 2016, and the generated data pointed to impressive scores. It should be noted that the raw data had been analyzed and vetted by psychiatric centers independent of Sovereign, thus making the results even more credible. And the latest evaluation indicated that Sovereign’s use of MBC puts the care provider ahead of the competition in terms of the treatment method’s effectiveness.