Measuring Mental Health: A Starting Point for Better Overall Health Care
Mental and behavioral illnesses occur routinely in medical and mental health settings with nearly one-quarter of American adults experiencing a mental health problem each year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
Given the prevalence of diagnosable mental health disorders, mental health screenings can improve overall care by:
- Uncovering issues before they become full-blown problems.
- Identifying undisclosed mental health disorders that may interfere with treatment of a diagnosed condition.
Regular screenings guide relevant and effective clinical decisions, help triage effort, assess risk and severity, promote communication with other providers, and evaluate treatment efficacy and effectiveness.
Patient care begins with information gathering, and patients are now familiar and comfortable with self-report questionnaires in the context of medical appointments. In fact, patients often reveal more to a questionnaire than they do to a person, allowing clinicians to discover more when they use a screening instrument in conjunction with an interview.
Natalis Outcomes Tool for Better Health Care: The Health Dynamics Inventory®
The Health Dynamics Inventory (HDI) is a standardized, self-report online behavioral health screening and outcomes tool. It is designed to help health care systems, primary care, and behavioral health providers understand a patient’s mental health history, and assess and monitor patients’ mental health status, risk and recovery over time.
Behavioral Health Home Services Maximize an Individuals True Potential
The Behavioral Health Home Model uses a multi-disciplinary team that shares information and collaborates to deliver a holistic, coordinated plan of care. The idea is to take a person-centered approach, to engage individuals and families in their health care, recovery and resiliency. As a part of this continuum, the Health Dynamics Inventory (HDI) is used as both a mental health screener and a communication tool for primary care.
- Health Home Specialists coordinate care
- Health Home Specialists seek to obtain maximized health outcomes
- Health Home Specialists provide patient and family support
Theory and Pragmatic Care Combined
Based on the Phase Model of mental health, the HDI contains three summary or global scales recognized as essential for diagnosis of mental illness by the DSM for Psychiatry: Morale, (the client’s distress and hopefulness and energy for change); Global Symptoms (the total score from seven symptom subscales); and Global Impairment (the total score from three impairment subscales). In addition, the HDI provides extensive “broadband” coverage, uncovering common mental health comorbidities such as substance abuse and anxiety in one integrated form. Rather than using cut scores, the HDI is standardized for comparison to norm groups. It presents results in graphic format for ease of use and communication between providers and patients.
Natalis Outcomes configures the HDI so data is stored within electronic health records and accessed when needed for clinical, research or administrative purposes.