The Importance of Healthcare Analytics for Mental and Behavioral Health Practitioners

The use of healthcare analytics helps medical facilities improve the quality and efficiency of the care they provide for patients, who in today’s world essentially are their customers. Virtually any type of department or focused treatment center can benefit from analysis of various relevant factors, and that includes practitioners who concentrate on mental and behavioral health. Psychiatrists and psychologists can learn a great deal from data mining that looks at their own clients as well as trends within a broader spectrum.

Dual Diagnosis

As is the case with people dealing with physical disorders, analytics can be particularly useful for the population of mental health patients who are receiving care from more than one kind of practitioner. Dual-diagnosis patients in alcohol and drug treatment centers, for instance, are in recovery from an addiction while also trying to manage a mental health condition. In many cases, the mental health disorder was not diagnosed until the patient began rehab.

Chronic depression and anxiety, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit disorder are all risk factors for chemical dependency. This discovery might have been made and effectively addressed much earlier if analytical software tools of today’s caliber had been available many years ago.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

A better understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder has also been a relatively recent development. Analytical work from companies like Health Catalyst help practitioners understand the common factors among various population groups diagnosed with this disorder or exhibiting behavior that indicates PTSD. Once psychiatrists and psychologists became more aware of the prevalence of this mental health problem among military veterans, they came to see its frequency in patients who experienced other traumatic circumstances.

For instance, research has found that about nine percent of people who have been in serious car accidents develop this disorder. Children who have been routinely abused sometimes later show symptoms of PTSD. Somewhere between four and ten percent of adults are expected to be diagnosed with PTSD at some point. It’s hard to imagine now that not until 1980 was this disorder added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and how controversial the inclusion was at the time.