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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 54 (2012) 2, 141 - 145

Short report

Routine outcome monitoring and benchmarking: how can treatment results be compared in a responsible manner?

M.J. Noom, K. de Jong, B. Tiemens, F. Kamsteeg, M.T. Markus, A.M. Pot, G.M. Schippers, W. Swildens, S. Sytema, J. Theunissen, H.P. van der Vlist, J. Vuyk, J. Zondervan

background The structural measurement of the results of treatment under the Dutch mental health services and a comparison of these results between mental health centres help to provide insight into the effectiveness of treatment in general practice.
aim To provide an overview of the issues that require attention when the results of mental health centres are being compared.
method Documentation, policy information and practical experience with routine outcome monitoring were analysed.
results We describe the problems that can arise when results obtained by mental health centres are compared and we suggest some solutions for these problems. Important factors that have emerged from our study are as follows: working with routine outcome monitoring is a process of natural growth and involves experiences with several solutions and the making of definitive choices on the basis of experience.
conclusion It is instructive to compare mental health centres with each other and with regards to so-called ‘best practices’ (benchmarking). However, mental health centres draw on a differing wide mix of patients and use different measurement procedures and instruments. In this article we express the view that in the near future it should be possible to draw meaningful comparisons.


keywords benchmarking, comparison, mental health care, routine outcome monitoring