Health IT Key to Advancing Evidence-Based Practices in Behavioral Health, Says Polaris’s Chief of Research

With intense pressure on the health care delivery system to demonstrate accountability, including linking patient outcomes and effectiveness of care to cost savings, the health IT field is no longer waiting on the sidelines.

Poised to become the rule rather than the exception is the use of health IT to support evidence-based best practices for psychosocial interventions.

In July 2014, Grant Grissom, Ph.D., co-founder and chief of research of Polaris Health Directions, participated in a panel discussion hosted by the Institute of Medicine. He spoke about the development and use of Polaris’s cloud-based enterprise system to track the delivery and outcomes of evidence-based psychosocial care, and support shared-decision making. Polaris was the only private sector organization invited to address the IOM committee on the ways assessment technology can enable the implementation of evidence-based practices in behavioral health.

“Health technology can facilitate the delivery of best practices, monitor their continued effectiveness and generally promote a measurement-based approach to treatment,” said Dr. Grissom, discussing his comments from the panel. “Polaris systems are a paradigm for this model with its support for major evidence-based practices, including Motivational Interviewing, Outcomes-Informed Care and Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT).”

During the panel discussion, Dr. Grissom only just touched on the promise of health IT. Polaris is forging the path forward with its innovative science and nearly two decades of experience in outcomes management technology as it continues to bring to market comprehensive platforms to support behavioral and integrated health care.

The panel was part of a larger meeting organized by the IOM’s Committee on Developing Evidence-Based Standards for Psychosocial Interventions for Mental Disorders. The intent of the committee is to design a framework for establishing the effectiveness of psychosocial treatments and identifying the elements of treatments that are most likely to lead to better mental health outcomes and that can be tracked as performance measures.

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