Behavioral Healthcare Provider Organizations Face Challenges In Collecting Performance Measurement Data, NAPHS Benchmarking Pilot Test Finds

Obstacles Can Be Overcome With Standardized Definitions,

Clear Focus on Assessment of Cost-Benefit of Gathering Data

Mar 16, 2001, 00:00 ET from National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems

    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