Behavioral Health IT and Quality Measurement Are the Focus of New Commonwealth Fund-Supported Research

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<p>The new issue of <em>Health Affairs</em> focuses on behavioral health, a component of care that is receiving heightened attention as health system leaders and policymakers seek to meet patients’ needs while controlling overall health care costs. The issue features two studies by Commonwealth Fund–supported researchers:</p><strong><a href="/publications/journal-article/2016/jun/behavioral-health-information-technology-chaos-clarity">Behavioral Health Information Technology: From Chaos to Clarity</a></strong><br />
Piper A. Ranallo, Amy M. Kilbourne, Angela S. Whatley, and Harold Alan Pincus<br />
<p>While 97 percent of U.S. hospitals and 74 percent of U.S. physicians have implemented interoperable electronic health records, less than a third of behavioral health providers have done so. Researchers <a href="/publications/journal-article/2016/jun/behavioral-health-information-technology-chaos-clarity">review</a> the gaps and challenges in behavioral health information technology and suggest remedies to address the need for greater standardization, expanded use of clinical decision support tools, and improving integration of general health, mental health, and substance abuse care.</p>
<strong><a href="/publications/journal-article/2016/jun/quality-measures-mental-health-and-substance-use-gaps">Quality Measures for Mental Health and Substance Use: Gaps, Opportunities, and Challenges</a></strong><br />
Harold Alan Pincus, Sarah Hudson Scholle, Brigitta Spaeth-Rublee, Kimberly A. Hepner, and Jonathan Brown<br />
<p>There are more than 500 quality measures related to behavioral health, but only 5 percent are used in quality-reporting programs. This <a href="/publications/journal-article/2016/jun/quality-measures-mental-health-and-substance-use-gaps">study</a> provides an overview of current measures of behavioral health, identifies priorities for measure development, and outlines the most significant challenges. According to the authors, greater workforce investment and stronger coordination among behavioral health leaders are two of the keys to advancing performance assessment in this field.</p> Read about the studies