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Maintain Data Integrity with Appropriate Agency Processes

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The form fields that are selected for each question will determine the quality of a form and the quality of the data you collect in your EHR software. It’s important that you understand each of the different field types to make sure you’re selecting the one that works best for your purposes.

The Behavioral Health field is undergoing a data revolution where electronic capture of daily activity is expected to produce reports that demonstrate, among other things, quality. The initial response to this paradigm shift is to have an electronic health record that can capture data, and produce reporting and analytics capabilities that use the data to demonstrate agency effectiveness. 

While front-end data capture and back-end information reporting are certainly critical elements of the value-based care equation, there is still an element of intervention required by your Quality and Compliance staff to ensure that your data has integrity. To achieve data integrity, you need to make sure that you’re collecting your data in a repeatable manner that provides consistent and accurate data.

Find Your Outcomes Measurement Tool

One of the best ways to demonstrate value in behavioral health is to adopt standardized outcomes measurement tools. Tools like the CANS/ANSA, PHQ-9, DLA-20, GAD-7, Columbia Suicide Risk Scale, and many others are designed to allow for the measurement of client populations to be viewed in aggregate for the purposes of demonstrating agency effectiveness. However, the integrity of the outcomes data you capture is going to be critical for framing the story telling that is done once your results are in.

3 Tips to Maintain Outcomes Integrity

The three critical elements that you can manipulate to drive data integrity within your outcomes tools all revolve around creating and enforcing repeatable processes. When your processes are repeatable, you can present your reports with foundation context that improves your presentation. This can turn “here are our numbers,” into “We follow these processes and procedures, which we know drive success, and the proof is here in our numbers.” And the second version is much more convincing.

These three elements are:

  • Determine the cadence that outcomes measures will be captured by and enforce it
  • Acknowledge outcome drift – respect the anchors and keep them front and center
  • Periodically audit your outcome tool with self-assessments

Show Off Your Good Work

When presenting data, you want to be able to articulate the procedural steps that your agency is taking to ensure that showing a positive trend line can be taken as a representation of actual client improvement. This can make all the difference between winning a contract or being overlooked despite your good work.

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