Assessing the Effectiveness of Mental Health Care in Routine Clinical Practice

Characteristics, Development, and Uses of Patient Outcomes Modules

Published in: Evaluation and the Health Professions, v. 20, no. 1, Mar. 1997, p. 65-80

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 1997

by G. Richard Smith, Kathryn Rost, Ellen P. Fischer, M. Audrey Burnam, Barbara J. Burns

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The health care delivery system faces continually increasing pressure to be accountable for the historically unparalleled amount of resources it utilizes. This article discusses one set of recently developed tools known as outcomes modules that are used to assess how treatment affects outcomes in patients with a given disorder. These tools currently are being used to inform administrative decisions about how to improve the quality of care, and can potentially influence decisions by patients, providers, and payers of care as well. The critical components of outcomes modules, as well as their administration and applications are described, using modules for psychiatric conditions as examples.

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