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Getting started with measurement-based care

Getting started with measurement-based care

Our integrated screening and progress monitoring tools can simplify the way you provide measurement-based care. You can now automatically send scored measures like the GAD-7, PHQ-9, and PCL-5 to your clients on a recurring basis. Scored measures are self-report assessment tools that can be used to screen for mental health conditions and evaluate treatment progress. 

The following scored measures are available in SimplePractice:

Note: To learn more about each scored measure, see Understanding scored measures.

When clients complete a measure, their scores will be calculated for you, and you’ll be able to view their progress over time on the Measures tab of a client’s profile.

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In this guide, we’ll cover:


Enabling scored measures

To add a scored measure to your account:

  • Navigate to Settings > Documentation > Template library
  • Select View pre-built templates
  • Click + Add next to the scored measure you’d like to add

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Note: Only Account Owners, Clinicians with entire practice access, and practice managers can manage templates in a group practice account. To learn more, see Team member roles and access levels.

The scored measure will be added to your Template library page. While there’s no way to edit a scored measure, you can preview it by clicking the eye icon.

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Note: A template must be enabled on the Template library page to be available to share with clients. If you previously removed a scored measure, you can navigate to Settings > Documentation > Template library and check the box for the template you’d like to reenable.


Scheduling recurring measures

To schedule measures to be automatically sent to clients on a recurring basis:

  • Navigate to the client’s Overview page
  • Click Share
  • Check the box next to the scored measure(s) you want to share
  • Choose the Frequency
    • Once
    • Before every appointment
    • Before every other appointment
    • Every 2 weeks
    • Every 4 weeks

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Note: Only scored measures can be scheduled to send automatically.

  • Click Continue to Email
  • Follow the prompts to schedule the recurring item(s)

Note: You can edit the Recurring measure request email template at Settings > Client notifications > Email. For an overview of the paperless intake process, see Sending intake forms and documents to clients.

If you choose Before every appointment or Before every other appointment, the measure will be automatically sent 24 hours before the client’s next appointment. If the appointment is less than 24 hours away, the first measure will be sent immediately. Clients who haven’t completed a scored measure will also receive an email 1 hour before their appointment.

If you choose Every 2 weeks or Every 4 weeks, the measure will be sent at that time, regardless of whether the client has an appointment scheduled for that week. You have the option of editing the date of the First share when you schedule the measure, if needed.

To remove a scheduled recurrence:

  • Navigate to the client’s Overview page
  • Select the Files tab
  • Locate the scheduled measure
  • Select the 3 horizontal dots next to it > Delete

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  • Select End recurrence

To change the frequency of a recurrence, you can delete the scheduled measure and reshare it with the desired frequency.

Note: To learn more about using the Files tab, see Managing the client Files Overview page.


Completing scored measures on behalf of a client

If your client doesn’t use the Client Portal, or if you’d like to complete a measure while in session, you can complete the measure from the client's profile. To do this:

  • Navigate to the client’s Overview page
  • Select New > Scored measure

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  • If the client is part a couple or has a contact, you’ll be prompted to select whom you want to complete the measure for
  • Select Continue to Scored measure
  • From the dropdown, select the measure you’d like to complete

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  • After completing the measure, click Save

The completed measure will be added to the client's profile, with a caption indicating that it was completed by a clinician on behalf of the client.

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Note: To learn how to share measures with clients to complete via the Client Portal, see Scheduling recurring measures.


Viewing scores and completed measures

Measures completed by clients will be scored automatically. You can review the client's score and responses from their Overview page. To do this:

  • Click All Items
  • Select Scored measure from the dropdown menu

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  • Click the completed measure you’d like to view

Along with the client’s responses to each question, you’ll see a Score and a Scoring interpretation. You can click View scoring guide for more information:

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Important: Some scored measures, like the PHQ-9, include questions about suicidality and self-harm. If a client answers affirmatively, a high-risk flag will display when you view their results. To learn more, see How is the high-risk flag generated on scored measures?


Visualizing scores over time

Routinely administering scored measures can help you track a client’s progress over time and identify patterns or trends. To view this data:

  • Navigate to the client’s Overview page
  • Select the Measures tab

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If the client has completed a measure multiple times, each score will be displayed on the graph, along with the change since the first measure they completed (since baseline) and their most recently completed measure (since last).


FAQs


Where can I find details about each scored measure?

We have a growing list of scored measures available to use. To learn more about each measure, see Understanding scored measures.


What is the source for the scoring interpretations?

Each measure and the corresponding scoring information are reproduced directly from source material and supporting literature. You can view the Sources on the scoring guide, as well as at the bottom of each completed measure:

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How is the high-risk flag generated on scored measures?

Some measures, like the PHQ-9, include questions related to suicidal ideation. If a client reports that they’ve had thoughts of suicide or self-harm Several days, More than half the days, or Nearly every day, this will be indicated by a high-risk flag when you view their results.

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If a client respond affirmatively to a suicidal ideation question, they’ll see the following modal upon submitting the measure:

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Will scored measures that my clients previously completed as intake forms be scored and graphed?

Questionnaires that were completed by clients before becoming available as a scored measure in SimplePractice won't be back-scored or graphed on the client's Measures tab. To view all completed questionnaires:

  • Navigate to the client’s Overview page
  • Select All Items > Scored measure

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Can my client still complete a scheduled measure after an appointment?

If a client didn’t complete a measure before their appointment, they can still do so afterwards. For scheduled measures, clients receive an automated email 24 hours before their next appointment, as well as 1 hour before their appointment if the measure hasn't yet been completed.

Note: You can also manually send clients a reminder to complete Pending documents at any time. For more information, see Sending a reminder for pending forms, documents, or uploaded files.

You can check the status of a client’s scheduled scored measure from the appointment flyout. Under Scored measures, hover over the measure to view its status.

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Note: Only team members with permission to view scored measures will see the Scored measures section when viewing an appointment. To learn more, see Team member roles and access levels.

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