Today we are excited to announce what we believe is not just a new feature within Blueprint, but a paradigm shift in what it means to deliver measurement-based mental health care.
How we got here
Measurement-based care is defined as the the practice of basing clinical care on patient data collected throughout treatment (source). Beginning in the 1980s, the field of psychology recognized measurement-based care as the marker for high quality mental healthcare in response to the emergence of research-backed (and thus data-informed) evidence-based practices such as cognitive therapy. Since this time, the practice of measurement-based care in therapy has centered around administering self-report clinical assessments (e.g. PHQ-9, GAD-7, etc) at the point of care and utilizing the results to inform care decisions and treatment planning.
In 2015, the Kennedy Forum published a landmark report titled Fixing Behavioral Healthcare In America that clearly outlined the widespread benefits of measurement-based care for nearly all mental healthcare populations. This report was a result of a large-scale national audit of mental healthcare and outcomes and came to a clear and definitive conclusion based on all the available evidence of the time.
One of the main contributors to poor outcomes in routine care is that providers do not typically use symptom rating scales in a systematic way to determine quantitatively whether their patients are improving. Yet, virtually all randomized controlled trials with frequent and timely feedback delivered from [outcome measures] to the provider during the clinical encounter found that outcomes were significantly improved compared to usual care across a wide variety of mental health disorders.
- The Kennedy Form, 2015
The implementation of measurement-based care skyrocketed after this report, including the emergence of measurement-based care mandates from accreditation organizations, increased pressure for quantitative outcomes from insurance companies, and measurement-based care becoming a requirement for strongly supported treatment guidelines by the APA.
While organizational leadership jumped on the measurement-based care bandwagon, a critical stakeholder has been left out from these advancements: the clinicians. The reality of clinical practice today is that clinicians are over-worked, often times burnt out, and don’t always have the necessary training to adequately address the myriad of mental health diagnoses that present in everyday clinical practice. In short, most therapists aren’t asking for more data, but everyone could use more time and support.
Recent advances in cloud and mobile technology have made it easier to administer, score, and store assessment results, which has made the process of measurement-based care much more efficient. However, understanding how to effectively incorporate and act on data during a session has remained unclear for most therapists (especially those with limited clinical assessment training). As a result, while measurement-based care has substantially increased at the organizational level, low clinician engagement has plagued the field and limited the clinical impact that measurement-based care can have when delivered to fidelity.
The future of measurement-based care
Today, we’re unveiling what we believe to be the next evolution of measurement-based care: Guided Measurement-Based Care, or gMBC. With gMBC, the focus is not on gathering data, but rather on helping clinicians use data to run more effective sessions and reduce documentation time. We’re calling it Blueprint Sessions and it’s designed to embed data-driven insights into a therapist’s existing workflow and talk tracks.
We think it’s a big upgrade:
- More than just clinical assessments: While assessments are valuable to track treatment response throughout the course of care, therapists often struggle to act on results on a session by session basis. By incorporating additional data sources (homework, lifestyle trackers, exercise data, and sleep data), we can fill the gaps left behind by PHQ-9s/GAD-7s and give therapists better tools to monitor how a patient is progressing since they last saw them.
- A data-driven Session Plan, which is designed to mirror how therapist are already running their sessions but comes with embedded insights and clinical guidance on how to deliver the right evidence-based intervention at the right time.
- Automatically generated documentation snippets: Translating the data we accumulate before, during, and after a session into clinical documentation that can be easily copied and pasted into an EHR to save significant time on progress notes.
Unfortunately, today’s standard of care yields sub-optimal results for the majority of patients seeking mental health care. Just 13% of patients who receive mental health care receive effective evidence-based care (source).
At Blueprint, we’re on a mission to empower clinicians to do their best work by arming them with better data and insights at the point of care. We believe in a world where 100% of patients who need mental health care not only have access to care, but have access to care that is evidence-based, personalized, and effective. And we believe Blueprint Sessions is a huge step in getting us closer to this lofty goal.
Blueprint Sessions is currently in beta as we roll it out to select partners. If you’re interested in gaining access, please contact your account representative or schedule a demo. If you want to learn more about how it works, we’ll be hosting a live information session on January 17th and would love to see you there!