Measuring the Triple Aim: A Resource for Behavioral Health Integration



Tracking measurable outcomes within integrated primary care is essential to develop effective systems. However, health care organizations are slow to establish these new procedures and systems given a lack of existing evidence-based measures. In a 2012 white paper, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) proposed a menu of measures, their targeted outcomes within health care settings, and the health care organizations that use these instruments. Under the broader framework of The Triple Aim, a widely known U.S. healthcare goal plan first disseminated in 2008, the IHI initiative described the measures and systems that reduce health care costs while improving patient satisfaction and outcomes.

IHI worked with more than 100 partners in the Triple Aim Prototyping Initiative to test the Triple Aim framework in the U.S .and internationally from 2007-2012. As outlined in this paper, population health, patients’ experience of care, and per capita cost are being successfully measured by a number of organizations that participated in the initiative. Several of these progressive sites include HealthPartners of Minnesota, Kaiser Permanente of California, Martin’s Point Health Care of Maine, and Bellin Health of Wisconsin.

Key measurement principles include:

  • the need for a defined population;
  • the need for data over time;
  • the need to distinguish between outcome and process measurement, and between population and project measures; and
  • the value of benchmark or comparison data.

Among the behavioral health factors tracked by these sites are smoking cessation, weight loss, and alcohol use. To more closely examine these methods and measures for adoption in your clinic, please visit this IHI resource.