What Gets Measured Gets Done: How Mental Health Agencies can Leverage Measurement-Based Care for Better Patient Care, Clinician Supports, and Organizational Goals

Adm Policy Ment Health. 2021 Mar;48(2):250-265. doi: 10.1007/s10488-020-01063-w.


Mental health clinicians and administrators are increasingly asked to collect and report treatment outcome data despite numerous challenges to select and use instruments in routine practice. Measurement-based care (MBC) is an evidence-based practice for improving patient care. We propose that data collected from MBC processes with patients can be strategically leveraged by agencies to also support clinicians and respond to accountability requirements. MBC data elements are outlined using the Precision Mental Health Framework (Bickman et al. in Adm Policy Mental Health Mental Health Serv Res 43:271-276, 2016), practical guidance is provided for agency administrators, and conceptual examples illustrate strategic applications of one or more instruments to meet various needs throughout the organization.

Keywords: Measurement-based care; Organizational quality improvement; Progress monitoring.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Mental Health Services*
  • Mental Health*
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Patient Care