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TJC has published proposed standards revisions related to outcomes measurement for the Behavioral Health Accreditation Program . Currently, there is one standard in the Behavioral Health manual related to outcomes. That standard is CTS.03.01.09 which requires BH organizations to assess the outcomes of care, treatment, or services provided to clients. It requires that organizations monitor the progress of individuals served in achieving their identified goals. It also requires that the organization aggregate outcomes data and evaluate outcomes across the population served.

The proposed revisions to this standard “up the ante” significantly and would require BH organiztions to do the following:

  • Use a standardized tool or instrument to monitor the individual’s progress in achieving the identified goals. The tool can be focused on a population or diagnostic category (e.g. depression) or have a more global focus (such as functional status or quality of life).
  • Analyze this outcome data (for that individual) and use the results to revise the goals and objectives on the individual’s care/treatment/service plan based on progress or lack of progress.
  • Aggregate and analyze the data (across the population) and evaluate the outcomes of care/treatment/services provided to that population

Clearly, the proposed requirements are aligned with the move within behavioral healthcare toward greater accountability and more tangible outcomes for the services being provided. At this point, many BH organiztions are using outcome measures as part of their performance improvement program. Still, there are some BH organiztions that have not yet taken that leap, particularly small ones. This new requirement would mean that they would need to research and implement an appropriate tool for their population. In addition, the new requirements would mean that not only is a standardized tool used to measure a client’s progress but also that the results are then used as feedback for review of the client’s treatment plan with changes to goals and objectives made based on the progress measured by the tool. While the concept is well grounded, that’s a fairly sophisticated process to implement and could be challenging for some organizations.

The proposed revisions have been posted on the TJC website under Standards Field Reviews.

TJC is seeking feedback from BH organizations and comments will be accepted through August 1, 2016. We encourage you to review the proposed standards and provide feedback on this important topic.

Also, if you’re looking for a resource on behavioral health outcome measures, check out the SAMHSA Annotated Bibliography of Measurement Compendia. It contains valuable info on outcomes measurement resources for substance abuse and behavioral health programs.