Implementation of Measurement-based Practices Enables Professionals to Guide Treatment Decisions
Jürgen Unützer, MD, MA, MPH is a renowned mental health researcher and consultant at the University of Washington and UCLA who has been a long-time advocate of integrated primary care. Dr. Unützer discusses the three key outcomes gleaned from 20 years of research, practice and over 70 publications in integrated care: improved patient experience and health outcomes and lower healthcare costs, also known as the “The Triple Aim.” Critical to these key outcomes is “measurement-based practice,” or patient self-reports of mental health symptoms for assessment and treatment monitoring which can be conducted before or during the primary care visit. Measurement-based practice allows professionals to determine symptom severity and treatment course and efficacy, as empirical findings suggest current mental health treatments are generally 50% effective for all patients. Implementation of measurement-based practices enables professionals to rely on a brief yet effective tool to guide their and their patients’ treatment decisions, thus effectively meeting the goals of the Triple Aim.