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Using Brief Standardized Measures in Behavioral Health Practice: The Why, What, and How of Routine Screening

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Healthcare transformation in the U.S. is focused on improving patient outcomes and experiences while simultaneously lowering the costs of care.  The importance of addressing the behavioral health needs of the population is increasingly recognized as vital to the achievement of these goals.

As the routine administration of standardized behavioral health screening measures offers an efficient mechanism for documenting to healthcare funders and collaborating medical providers the value added by behavioral health clinical services, the rationale and practicalities of this practice will be reviewed during this skill building workshop.

Participants will learn a wide range of brief screening tools, many of which are freely available, to identify concerns and track patient progress in pediatric to geriatric populations.  Video demonstrations and interactive exercises will assist in skill mastery. Independent practice, mental health clinic, and colocated behavioral health clinicians who include screening results when communicating patient progress to medical providers and insurers will position themselves for roles in the newly developing models of collaborative healthcare.  This workshop will therefore highlight interprofessional communication strategies.  Techniques for assisting patients to move from screening to active participation in treatment will round out the discussion.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discuss the value of routinely conducting standardized behavioral health screening in clinical practice to quantify presenting concerns, track patient progress, and document treatment outcomes.
  2. Describe the broad range of concerns warranting screening, including, but not limited to, depression, anxiety, substance misuse, ADHD, sleep difficulties, trauma, pain, and dementia.
  3. List national, professional, and insurance industry directives (e.g., the United States Preventive Services Task Force Recommendations) for behavioral health screening by healthcare providers.
  4. Select evidenced-based screening instruments to be used with specific age groups across the lifespan, from pediatrics to geriatrics. Plan methods for incorporating behavioral health screening into clinical practice, whether working independently, in a mental health clinic, or colocated/integrated in primary care.
  5. Apply strategies to assist patients who screen positive, but are ambivalent about making lifestyle changes or carrying out treatment recommendations, to improve their behavioral and physical health.
  6. Communicate standardized screening results to medical providers, improving patient care by fostering interprofessional collaboration and increasing the potential for future referrals and inclusion in newly evolving healthcare systems.

Barbara Ward-Zimmerman, Ph.D. 6 CEs

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