Clinic interventions improve depression care, study finds

Medical clinic quality interventions can improve depression screening and follow-up care, a study published in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety found.

The study describes Harrisonburg (Va.) Community Health Center's work to improve the efficacy of Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment for depression — an evidence-based approach to find and treat disorders linked to substance abuse.

The researchers implemented several interventions at the health center, including team meetings, a tool to help patients who screen positive for depression to share what matters most to them and a tracking log to help providers document follow-up phone calls and visits.

The researchers used surveys, charts and registry data to analyze the interventions' effect on population health. They found the provision of evidence-based care rose to 71.4 percent and adherence to follow-up increased from 33.3 percent to 60 percent.

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