WASHINGTON, March 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Behavioral healthcare providers are eager to create industry-wide core performance measures. However, a pilot test of key benchmarking indicators found that substantial challenges remain in gathering, reporting, and comparing data across systems. The National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems (NAPHS) White Paper: Lessons Learned from Pilot Testing of the NAPHS Benchmarking Indicators identified measures that hold great promise for the field. More importantly, the participants in this 2000 pilot test demonstrated their willingness to share this critical data. The project was coordinated by the NAPHS Benchmarking Committee, chaired by Peter Panzarino, M.D., chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The pilot test focused on nine indicators (adverse drug reactions, completed suicide, attempted suicide, restraint, seclusion, symptom/function measure, readmission, patient satisfaction, and peer review) chosen from an earlier consensus-driven process. The pilot analyzed data from 48 organizations offering 637,241 days of inpatient care; 601,595 days of residential care; and 161,993 days of partial hospital care. The facilities served all populations (including child, adolescent, and adult). While no specific data is reported, the document outlines challenges identified in the testing phase. Commentary is provided on each of the indicators in the pilot test. According to the White Paper, any data-collection effort -- and any national core performance measures in particular -- must: * provide value in the data generated that is in proportion to the intensity of the data collection effort. Allocation of limited resources needs to be directed to the collection of the most important data. * focus on indicators that provide the most useful clinical and operational data possible within the scope of the data currently available within organizations. * recognize that definitional decisions have significant policy implications. Widely diverse state, local, and national standards often lead organizations to adopt similar -- but not identical -- definitions. This makes meaningful data-collection extremely difficult -- and potentially costly. If organizations use operational definitions that are different from the question asked, they are not able (short of going to primary sources such as the patient record or reviewing their entire data base and applying the study definitions) to report the data. According to the report, indicators with the most promise for benchmarking across systems are those that have generally similar definitions, are collected by a majority of sites, are retrievable, and do not require extensive re-collection of data. The WHITE PAPER is $40. Call 202-393-6700, Ext. 15.
SOURCE National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems