Responding to COVID-19 with Telemental Health Measurement-based care (tMBC)
Telehealth has always held great promise to increase access to mental health care, never more so than in the age of COVID-19, when clients and clinicians cannot be in the same physical location. Telemental health measurement-based care (tMBC) goes a step further, offering clinicians the ability to send questionnaires and rating scales to patients prior to telehealth sessions. tMBC is an ideal complement to enhance ongoing monitoring, shared understanding, and treatment engagement in the context of the virtual encounter. To this end, tMBC can help agencies respond to the COVID-19 crisis in several ways including:
For individuals and agencies implementing tMBC, the following questions are helpful to consider:
How to Introduce tMBC to Your Clients
Send Clients Links to Complete Measures by Text Message (SMS) or Email
Set Up Windows on Your Computer Screen(s)
Share Feedback With Your Clients
Submit Billing for Reimbursement for tMBC
How-to-Video: Preparing for tMBC
Watch this quick video to see how simple it is to use tMBC as part of your telehealth sessions. This brief video shows you how to have your telehealth and tMBC platforms open at the same time.
Selecting Measures for tMBC
Appropriate Measures are:
Measures Include Individualized Items:
Measures Provide Risk Monitoring
Rating scales or individual items can be used to monitor risk, including suicide risk, risk of relapse, violence, etc.
Particularly when providers cannot be in the same physical location as the client, additional data points to better understand the client’s risk can be tremendously helpful in clinical decision making.
Treatment Process Measures
Regularly assessing therapy processes, such as clinical alliance, can be particularly valuable and to that end, additional data, as assessed by tMBC, can be particularly helpful.
While clinicians may get a better sense of this information while in the same physical space as a client, it may be more challenging to understand the quality of the alliance when engaged in telemental health care.
COVID-19 Specific Suggestions
COVID-19 screening questions can be incorporated into existing tMBC protocols.
This provides a method for clients to be screened for potential COVID-19 symptoms or contact