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3 ways data can help advance equitable, whole-person behavioral healthcare image

3 ways data advances equitable, whole-person behavioral healthcare

Estimated read time: 2.5 minutes

by Oracle Cerner

Published on 8/16/2022

As the healthcare industry faces growing staffing shortages, compliance requirements, increased demand for services, and pressure to keep up with technology innovations, many providers are overwhelmed with the burden of navigating massive amounts of healthcare data. Thankfully, technology can be used to streamline data collection and provide relevant insights that help providers make informed decisions at the point of care.

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

  • 1. Data can enhance behavioral health treatment, outcomes

  • Usable behavioral health data can be a game-changer for patient outcomes. Standardized tools are critical to helping clinicians monitor the progress or regression of data over the course of an intervention or episode of care. When behavioral health data is connected, accessible, and easy to digest, patients are enabled to be more active in their health and wellness, and providers can personalize treatment to generate specific outcomes.

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

  • 2. Behavioral health data can elevate suicide prevention efforts

  • Unfortunately, death by suicide is extremely high post-discharge from inpatient psychiatric hospitals. The Menninger Clinic examined the relationship between all suicide outcomes for individuals admitted inpatient: 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 a million net-new patients using the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS), an assessment tool that evaluates suicidal ideation and behavior, in the Cerner electronic health record. Additionally, researchers at the Menninger Clinic measure data to predict suicide risk and help clinicians provide meaningful, evidence-based care.

    "On the path to zero suicide, we must normalize assessing for suicide. Integrated behavioral health solutions can help make that possible by connecting behavioral health venues to primary care, acute, med-surg, oncology, and all of the specialties around the world." – Danny Gladden

  • 3. Data can help organizations address social determinants of health

  • Social determinants, such as healthcare access and quality, environment, economic stability, education access and quality, and social and community context are a critical part of real interventions. In fact, 10% to 20% of health outcomes are linked to medical interventions – the other 80% to 90% are tied to where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age. When talking about mental health and addiction, we must tell a whole-person story from primary care to acute to behavioral health with health equity as a driver.

    Many healthcare leaders have access to valuable data that can impact programs and services for the most vulnerable communities. Our industry has the responsibility to use data to advocate at the local, state, and federal levels for equity and quality-of-life improvements for the populations we serve.

    "It's our responsibility in this field to constantly advocate on behalf of our communities’ most vulnerable, not only to make others feel the same level of excitement and enthusiasm, but also to understand the necessity to fully fund our programs and services and make sure we're accounting for not only equal access, but health equity across everyone we serve." – Danny Gladden

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

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