A Successful Implementation Strategy to Support Adoption of Decision Making in Mental Health Services

Community Ment Health J. 2017 Apr;53(3):251-256. doi: 10.1007/s10597-016-0027-1. Epub 2016 Jun 4.


Individual involvement in treatment decisions with providers, often through the use of decision support aids, improves quality of care. This study investigates an implementation strategy to bring decision support to community mental health centers (CMHC). Fifty-two CMHCs implemented a decision support toolkit supported by a 12-month learning collaborative using the Breakthrough Series model. Participation in learning collaborative activities was high, indicating feasibility of the implementation model. Progress by staff in meeting process aims around utilization of components of the toolkit improved significantly over time (p < .0001). Survey responses by individuals in service corroborate successful implementation. Community-based providers were able to successfully implement decision support in mental health services as evidenced by improved process outcomes and sustained practices over 1 year through the structure of the learning collaborative model.

Keywords: Breakthrough Series; Community mental health centers; Decision support; Implementation; Quality improvement.

MeSH terms

  • Community Mental Health Centers / standards*
  • Decision Making*
  • Humans
  • Patient Participation*
  • Quality Improvement
  • Surveys and Questionnaires