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Mohini Venkatesh

VP of Practice Improvement

There’s a Clear Path to Excellence

August 11, 2015 | Community Impact | Comments
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For well over a year, a team of us at the National Council for Mental Wellbeing have been thrilled to work with Relias to design a program to support behavioral health treatment providers as they strive to be leaders in our health care system—a system marked by change that, at times, feels nothing short of neck-snapping.

We started with a clear goal: we wanted a firm foundation for National Council member organizations—the backbone of our nation’s mental health and addiction treatments, services and supports—to use to both keep up with changes … and make sense of them.

The product is Relias’ Certificates of Excellence. Introduced just this spring at the National Council Conference, these certification courses support behavioral health CEOs as they prepare their staff for national implementation of the Excellence in Mental Health Act and many other policy changes at the national and state levels.

While change is certainly not new to behavioral health providers, National Council members have been on the fast track in recent years. Several national policy changes now oblige us to reform our day-to-day practices even more rapidly.

  • The Affordable Care Act moves us to operate across provider organizations, reduce costs and provide staff training—all while improving our patients’ experiences, the quality of their care and their ‘whole health’ outcomes.
  • The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act stirred excitement, but its implementation has yet to fully actualize. Moving ahead, parity has the potential to confirm health insurance coverage of services we provide every day.

With all this change—from the Affordable Care Act to parity to the Excellence Act—comes a new accountability for health outcomes, a responsibility that requires both skilled staff and effective leadership. The Certificates of Excellence program offers behavioral health providers a guide to help advance their practices into this new age.

Since introduction in spring, 14 member organizations have assigned the Certificate of Excellence as part of their training with over 75 completions. Feedback on the program so far is extremely positive:

  • “I took this program because I always enjoy the Relias programs and I wanted to enhance my addictions education. I found the variety of courses very helpful. I apply these skills day to day, as I have very regular contact with patients struggling with addictions issues.” Nathan Reed, LCSW, LCAC with Midtown Community Mental Health Center
  • “This certification has improved my skills, and I feel as if I have mastered something that now I can pass on to others.” Cassandra Torres with Centerstone

I’m excited about the Certificates of Excellence program and how it can improve the skills and effectiveness of staff and management. It’s a clear and important step for National Council member organizations to become true Centers of Excellence, and a wonderful and important addition by Relias to this ever-evolving field.

Ensure your organization has a clear path to excellence and take a minute today to learn more about the Certificates of Excellence.