Meeting Outcome Measures Standards for Behavioral Health Accreditation

Are you having accreditation nightmares about client-reported outcome measures? Don’t worry! The Partners for Change Outcome Management System (PCOMS) and Better Outcomes Now (BON) have your back in two ways.  PCOMS and BON satisfy the push for evidence-based practices and deliver reliable and valid measurement of client-reported outcomes. This blog focuses on the latter.


A woman having a nightmare about the accreditation of her behavioral health organization


About Behavioral Health Accreditation

Behavioral health organizations worth their salt—or those that want to be reimbursed—must be accredited by the Joint Commission, the Council on Accreditation (COA), or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). The accreditation process provides a framework for organizations to continuously improve and offer best practices to support clients and their communities. Compliance with accreditation standards helps organizations achieve measurable results; remain committed to the health, safety, and the rights of clients; and support their staff to ensure sustainability and continued growth. 

Meeting Outcome Measures Standards

Measuring client-generated outcomes is one among many standards that behavioral health organizations are now required to follow by all three of the aforementioned accrediting bodies. Often times, these practices are detailed in an organization's Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Plan.

A CQI plan assures that:

  • Services meet the needs of consumers
  • Personnel and financial resources are appropriately utilized to provide high-quality care
  • Service providers are accountable to stakeholders
  • Relevant and useful information is made available to those who plan, direct and deliver services

These standards emphasize the primacy of the client, the importance of professional competence, and the effectiveness or outcome of strategies employed. The standards promote a philosophy that we can always improve on what we are doing.


PCOMS and BON to the Rescue

Compliance with innumerable standards can be a daunting task requiring the ongoing work of key members of your organization from your Board of Directors to front-line staff. Here’s where PCOMS and BON save the day.

Better Outcomes Now is designed to help you meet those portions of the outcome measurement standards now required of behavioral health and substance abuse agencies. And of course, all BON functionally is available for remotely delivered services.  

In preparation for accreditation or reaccreditation, your organization should have policies and practices in place to demonstrate evidence of a service delivery informed by client-generated outcomes. Following are six helpful hints.


6 Steps for Proving Compliance with Outcome Measures Standards

  1. Build evidence of a commitment to client choice and voice
  2. Include outcomes as a part of your mission statement and specific language about routine outcome monitoring throughout your strategic plan
  3. Detail policies that outline how clinical services are delivered and how you ensure fidelity to measurement-based care and the evidence-based practice of PCOMS
  4. Routinely report client outcomes to all stakeholders
  5. Incorporate data from clients who are not benefiting in supervision--proactively prevent treatment failure
  6. Include PCOMS and BON in CQI plan

The BON network of users includes subject matter experts from many accredited organizations who bring expertise specifically as it relates to PCOMS and BON.  Its leading expert and developer of the clinical process of PCOMS, Dr. Barry L. Duncan, is involved in all aspects of assisting organizations to generate the reports needed to demonstrate compliance. BON Vice President, Barbara Hernandez, based on many years as the Chief Operating Officer of a public behavioral health agency that scored nearly perfect on accreditation reviews, also offers consultation on policy development to demonstrate compliance. 

Start a free trial today of the BON outcome measurement tool and end your accreditation nightmares:
Outcome Measurement Tool | Free Trial | Better Outcomes Now

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