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Improving Mental Healthcare

A Guide to Measurement-Based Quality Improvement

Richard C. Hermann, M.D., M.S.

  • ISBN 978-1-58562-088-3
  • Item #62088


The first book to focus on measuring the basic processes of mental healthcare, such as access, detection, treatment appropriateness, safety and continuity of care, Improving Mental Healthcare: A Guide to Measurement-Based Quality Improvement integrates practical information about quality measures—such as their clinical logic, validity and basis in scientific evidence—into a highly readable guide on how to implement measures and use the results to improve quality of care.

Improving Mental Healthcare examines the clinical, policy, and scientific underpinnings of process measurement, a widely used method of assessing quality of mental healthcare. It describes the use of measurement to improve quality, promote accountability, encourage evidence-based practice, and shape incentives to favor delivery of high-quality care.

Divided into two sections totaling 14 chapters, the first section describes factors that led to a nationwide emphasis on improving quality of care, major approaches to quality assessment, considerations in selecting measures, as well as how to analyze and interpret measure results. The second section summarizes information on more than 300 quality measures, including their clinical rationale, specifications, sources of data, supporting evidence, readiness for use, and—where available—data on reliability, validity, results, case-mix adjustment, standards, and benchmarks.

Improving Mental Healthcare helps clinicians, managers, administrators, payers, purchasers, accreditors, consumer groups, and other stakeholders meet national mandates to assess and improve quality of care by providing the following tools and guidance:

  • Results from the National Inventory of Mental Health Quality Measures, a federally funded study summarizing clinical, technical, and scientific properties of more than 300 process measures
  • A user-friendly format that helps potential measure users find quality measures that reflect their priorities and meet their needs
  • Guidance for healthcare organizations and clinicians on how to integrate measurement into a comprehensive approach to quality management
  • An understanding of the relationship between process measurement and other approaches to quality assessment, in particular outcomes assessment-the focus of a companion guide, Outcome Measurement in Psychiatry: A Critical Review (APPI 2002)

      Improving Mental Healthcare, which includes extensive references as well as useful figures and tables illustrating key concepts, is essential reading for practicing clinicians, healthcare managers, medical students and psychiatric residents—who must now meet ACGME requirements to learn about quality assessment and improvement—as well as members of oversight organizations and consumer advocacy groups. It will prove invaluable for healthcare organizations seeking to improve quality of care, clinical training programs, and courses on quality assessment, healthcare management, and mental health policy.


    Part I: Role of Process Measures in Quality Assessment and Improvement
    Chapter 1. Quality Assessment and Improvement in a Changing Healthcare System
    Chapter 2. Measuring Clinical and Administrative Processes of Care
    Chapter 3. Selecting Process Measures
    Chapter 4. Comparing and Interpreting Results From Process Measurement
    Chapter 5. Role of Measurement in Quality Improvement
    Part II: National Inventory of Mental Health Quality Measures
    Chapter 6. Guide to Inventory Data
    Chapter 7. Prevention Measures
    Chapter 8. Access Measures
    Chapter 9. Assessment Measures
    Chapter 10. Treatment Measures
    Chapter 11. Coordination Measures
    Chapter 12. Continuity Measures
    Chapter 13. Patient Safety Measures
    Subject Index
    Measures Subject Index
    Index of Measures by Domain of Quality
    Index of Measures by Diagnosis
    Index of Measures by Treatment Modality
    Index of Measures by Population Characteristics
    Index of Measures by Data Source

About the Authors

Richard C. Hermann, M.D., M.S., is Associate Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine, Director of the Center for Quality Assessment and Improvement in Mental Health (CQAIMH), Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies at Tufts-New England Medical Center, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management at Harvard School of Public Health.

This outstanding book provides a comprehensive framework for the use of quality indicators within the context of quality improvement initiatives in real practice. Dr. Hermann provides for the field a comprehensive set of measures in use in practice, as well as research studies, during an active period of development of the quality of care and quality improvement field. The book integrates a thorough understanding of the practical uses of quality measurement with an understanding of the market context for their use, and standards for acceptable measures that can span practice and research. The book is the most comprehensive book available on quality measurement, from a practical perspective, in the field.—Ken Wells, M.D., M.P.H., Professor, David Geffen School of Medicine and UCLA School of Public Health; Senior Scientist of the Semel Institute and RAND

At last mental healthcare gets serious attention in the quest for higher quality of care! Improving Mental Healthcare: A Guide to Measurement-Based Quality Improvement by Richard Hermann is packed with valuable information. Readers whose primary focus is not on mental health will learn much in general about quality measurement and improvement in healthcare. The opening chapters sweep from details of methodology to broad principles and strategies for quality improvement. The later chapters capture precise details of an inventory of quality measures for mental healthcare. Together with writing that flows so smoothly throughout, I cannot think of a better introduction to quality in healthcare. A feast indeed!—R. Heather Palmer, M.B.B.Ch., S.M., Professor of Health Policy and Management, Director of the Center for Quality of Care Research and Education, Harvard School of Public Health

Author Richard Hermann has put together an amazingly complete compilation of well referenced methods and instruments for measuring quality of care in psychiatry, mental health, and substance abuse. This work creates neat order out of what had been a chaotic jumble. This book provides solid ammunition for these related fields to defend their worth against both a needy but unconvinced and disbelieving public, and the bean counters simultaneously. A magnificent and exhaustive, definitive and detailed organized tabulation of ways to measure the quality of care in mental health, whether or not it works, is improving or not, and how you can tell.—George D. Lundberg, M.D., Editor in Chief, Medscape General Medicine

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