Past Releases: National benchmarks to improve mental health and addictions services
Contact: Communications@thenationalcouncil.org or 301.984.6200, ext. 228.
Washington, DC (February 11, 2008) — The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare is encouraging and supporting healthcare organizations to improve care for mental illness and addictions by measuring clinical and business outcomes. Most recently, the National Council entered into an agreement with Behavioral Pathway Systems to use and apply BPS’ national database of benchmarks to improve the clinical, operational, and financial performance and effectiveness of mental health and addiction service organizations across the country. The National Council and BPS will collaborate on strategies designed to enhance benchmarking as a management tool among behavioral health providers across the United States.
As proven in other areas of healthcare, benchmarking has the potential to improve the efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and quality of mental health and addiction services by providing consistent performance measures and best practices. Performance improvement is an urgent need as mental illness and addiction disorders are on the rise, generating an increased demand for scarce services and draining our economy of billions every year.
“Benchmarks are essential to our mission to promote excellence in behavioral health,” explained Mark Blockus, the National Council’s Director of Practice Improvement. “We don’t know how we’re doing unless we measure and we don’t know what that measurement means unless we have a gauge of comparison. We must measure to impact and demonstrate viability and ensure continued movement toward excellence.”
Benchmarking provides the context that transforms numbers into actionable information. Without context, numbers don’t inform, explains Paul Lefkovitz, President of Behavioral Pathway Systems. “How helpful would a thermometer be as a measure of your health if you did not know that 98.6 was normal?” Lefkovitz asks.
Behavioral Pathway Systems also conducts process benchmarking to identify successful practices adopted by top performing organizations. From staff retention to reducing client no-show rates, top performers employ distinctive tactics that become potential best practices for the entire industry. BPS will disseminate these best practices to providers through the National Council.
The use of BPS’s national benchmarks is one among several National Council initiatives to support the measurement of clinical and business outcomes in behavioral health. An ongoing National Council ‘Access and Retention’ initiative guides behavioral health provider organizations in applying industrial process improvement standards to improve consumers’ access to care and improve the ability of staff to engage clients. The National Council also offers SPQM, an online dashboard consulting resource from industry expert David Lloyd. SPQM uses data that healthcare organizations already collect for payer requirements to measure and analyze performance outcomes to support enhanced quality, accountability, compliance and cost-efficiency of services.
The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) association of 1,400 behavioral healthcare organizations that provide treatment and rehabilitation for mental illnesses and addictions disorders to nearly six million adults, children and families in communities across the country.
Behavioral Pathway Systems is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that specializes in benchmarking in the behavioral health and human services arenas. BPS has approximately 350 provider organizations throughout the United States under contract in regional and national benchmarking initiatives.