As healthcare becomes increasingly digital and moves to value-based care, data is playing a greater role. Behavioral health facilities must use data to demonstrate their value, meet accreditation requirements, and make better treatment decisions.
This can be a challenge for organizations that are not used to collecting, analyzing, and reporting on data. Before you can use data effectively, your behavioral health treatment facility must have a culture that understands the importance of data and how to use it effectively. Here’s how to start creating that culture.
What is data-informed treatment?
First, what do we mean when we talk about data-informed treatment? It means that collecting data becomes part of an organization’s weekly progress monitoring. Data is analyzed and used for individual treatment decisions and to determine how effective those treatments are. Data can also help make decisions about overall programs.
Data can also be used to guide your facility’s financial and operational processes. You might refer to data findings to help find ways to increase revenue and decrease costs. It can help drive innovation, helping to determine which services are the most effective for your clients and stakeholders.
This type of decision-making can be a sticking point for clinicians who may not be convinced that it’s worthwhile to use data alongside their own expertise. However, research shows that data-informed decisions can lead to better client results than those decisions made by the clinician alone.
Creating the data-driven culture
A workplace culture is a set of shared values and beliefs that drive behavior and performance. Note that this is different from work climate, which involves overall attitudes about the organization.
So how do you bring a pro-data attitude into your organization’s culture?
First, you should assess your current organizational culture. Evaluate the quality and performance of the methods you currently use to collect and apply data, if you have them. This assessment may be a one-time event, or you can make it an ongoing process as your organization evolves.
You can conduct assessments in many ways. You might hold a meeting where people offer feedback, or distribute an anonymous survey. You may bring in outside consultants. Once you have completed the assessment, determine what areas need the most attention or change.
Other important elements in creating a data-driven culture include:
Get leadership on board by explaining how data collection supports the organization’s core ideology.
Clearly define, communicate, and practice the appropriate ethics of data collection and use.
Identify the roles, responsibilities, and chain of command for all team members involved in data collection, analysis, storage, and use.
Encourage feedback, including anonymous, from anyone involved in data collection, from frontline staff to clinicians.
The way you implement these changes will depend on your facility’s particular needs. If you have a strict environment where security is important, you may need to use a more managerial, controlled, top-down approach to change. Other organizations may need a more flexible, collaborative approach that evolves over time.
When you move to data-informed treatment, you also need the right tools to help you gather and analyze this data. OutcomeTools by BestNotes is a secure delivery and analysis system that lets behavioral health organizations track their effectiveness through electronic outcome questionnaires.
OutcomeTools helps simplify administration and takes the work out of outcome studies. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how OutcomeTools can help you start making better decisions, sooner.